The Trump administration is urging the United Nations to drop abortion as an essential health service in its global COVID-19 response proposal, and warning the agency to stop using coercion to push abortion on developing nations.
In a May 17 letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres from John Barsa, acting administrator for the government’s U.S. Agency for International Development, Barsa urged the U.N. to “remain focused on addressing the most urgent, concrete needs that are arising out of the pandemic,” such as lifesaving medical care and potential food shortages.
The U.N. announced its Global Humanitarian Response Plan in March, and is asking member nations for $6.7 billion to further health and development globally in light of the pandemic.
The U.N.’s proposal, Bursa wrote, “cynically [places] the provision of ‘sexual and reproductive health services’ on the same level of importance as food-insecurity, essential health care, malnutrition, shelter, and sanitation. Most egregious is that the Global HRP calls for the widespread distribution of abortion-inducing drugs and abortion supplies, and for the promotion of abortion in local country settings.”
The U.S. government gave the U.N. more than $3.5 billion last fiscal year, and has committed an additional $45.3 million to U.N. agencies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Franklin Graham criticized the U.N.’s abortion promotion via Facebook.
“Deceit and more deceit,” Franklin wrote. “The United Nations has announced its Global Humanitarian Response Plan ‘to fight the virus in the world’s poorest countries, and address the needs of the most vulnerable people.’ That sounds great on the surface doesn’t it? But what they don’t want you to know is that part of the funding would go toward abortion. … The United Nations should be working to protect human rights, not ignore the rights of the most vulnerable.”
Franklin urged prayer for the president, for Barsa, and others “who are boldly working to fight against the evil of abortion here and around the world. Our nation is responsible before God for this tragic transgression that has cost the lives of millions and millions of our own children.”
The letter to the U.N. secretary-general also caught the attention of Lila Rose, founder of the pro-life group Live Action, who said in a statement: “We are encouraged by the leadership of USAID in pulling back the curtain from the euphemistic ‘sexual and reproductive health’ language of the United Nations, exposing it as an attempt to kill children and exploit women in countries where they are most vulnerable.”
In the letter, Barsa also cited President Trump’s declaration before the U.N. General Assembly last September that the U.S. “will never tire of defending innocent life” and that the U.N. has “no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life.”
“Indeed,” Barsa wrote, “the U.N. should not intimidate or coerce Member States that are committed to the right to life.” He closed by stating that a globally unified effort requires the U.N. to avoid such a “polarizing” issue.
“Therefore, I ask that you remove references to ‘sexual and reproductive health,’ and its derivatives from the Global HRP, and drop the provision of abortion as an essential component of the U.N.’s priorities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Barsa wrote.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Kelly Craft, was copied on the letter.
USAID’s response to the U.N.’s proposal came during the same week the White House characterized the World Health Organization’s response to the global pandemic as a “failure that cost many lives.” The WHO is an agency of the U.N. The White House has also accused the WHO of covering for China’s alleged negligence in the coronavirus outbreak.
Above: A nurse administers a blood test in Brazil as part of a health screening project funded by the United States Agency for International Development.
Photo: BrazilPhotos/Alamy Stock Photo