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Statement by Valerie Huber, President of the Institute for Women’s Health on “International Safe Abortion Day”

WASHINGTON, September 28, 2022 – The UN Human Rights Office recently released a statement by “experts” in support of “International Safe Abortion Day,” calling on States and their institutions “to prioritise sexual and reproductive health rights, to adopt legislations, policies and decisions that ensure to women and girls, the full exercise of their right to access sexual and reproductive health services, including safe abortion without fear of being intimidated, stigmatised or criminalised – in line with their international human rights obligations” and to implement the new World Health Organization abortion guidelines released earlier this year. 

This statement serves as a perfect example of ideology masquerading as expertise. 

For far too long, organizations like the UN and the WHO have used their soft power to pressure nations into making ideological concessions by declaring abortion a human “right.” These agencies intentionally ignore the hard-fought agreements reached on topics like abortion by nations that have very diverse opinions, and they do so in order to use the full force of their organizations to advance their pro-abortion agenda under the guise of helping women. They consistently stray outside of their missions and mandates, using absolute freedom of the pen to redefine terms, proceedings, and priorities in order to promote extreme ideology and infringe upon the sovereign right of nations to determine their own laws without foreign interference.

“International Safe Abortion Day” is celebrated on the false notions that: 1) abortion is a human “right,” 2)  abortion is “health care,” and 3) “safe abortion” actually exists. Yet not one of these assertions is true. In fact, research does not support the argument that liberalizing abortion laws will improve women’s health, even when talking about maternal mortality.

If we want to improve women’s health, then international organizations like the UN and the WHO need to work toward removing obstacles that stand in the way of advancing real health care needs for women and girls at every stage of life around the world, including ideological agendas. 


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