The most prolife Administration in US history has taken another major step to protect the unborn, this time by sounding a clarion call for the United Nations to cease using the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to promote abortion. In a letter issued May 18 to Secretary-General António Guterres, the United States urged, in respectful but unmistakably strong terms, that “the UN should not use this crisis as an opportunity to advance access to abortion as an ‘essential service.’”
The letter, signed by John Barsa as acting administrator of USAID (the US agency that describes itself as “the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results”), called out the UN for “cynically placing” in its Global Humanitarian Response Plan “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 inclusion of abortion in the Global HRP shows that the UN failed to listen when President Donald J. Trump told last year’s General Assembly, “Americans will also never tire of defending innocent life. We are aware that many United Nations projects have attempted to assert a global right to taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, right up until the moment of delivery. Global bureaucrats have absolutely no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life. Like many nations here today, we in America believe that every child— born and unborn— is a sacred gift from God.”
Referencing President Trump’s remarks, Mr. Barsa minced no words. “The UN should not intimidate or coerce Member States that are committed to the right to life. To use the COVID-19 pandemic as a justification to pressure governments to change their laws is an affront to the autonomy of each society to determine its own national policies on health care. The United States stands with nations that have pledged to protect the unborn… 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 UN’s priorities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The letter’s further reminder of the massive funding provided by USAID to the United Nations, including its Global HRP, clearly implied the possibility that continued funding could depend on the UN’s response.
The Trump Administration speaks with a voice of power, but we believe that all who raise their voice for the rights of the unborn speak with the power of truth. One of our most faithful supporters told us of the indelible impression made upon him by the speaker at his 1982 graduation ceremony from Harvard, a non-assuming nun whose diminutive stature—barely five feet in height—belied her towering courage. Her name was Mother Teresa, and standing there addressing the graduates, she fearlessly spoke up for the unborn. “It is something unbelievable that today a mother, herself, murders her own child, afraid of having to feed one more child, afraid to educate one more child. This is one of the greatest poverties. A nation, people, family that allows that, that accepts that, they are the poorest of the poor.”
You might expect her remarks to have elicited scorn from one of the most liberal institutions on earth. Not so, reported the Harvard Journal. “Mother Teresa spoke with almost mesmerizing conviction; her excellent English had an accent and cadence compounded of her native Yugoslavia and India. What she said struck many listeners as anomalous in Harvard Yard on Class Day, but she received a long, standing ovation from the unusually large crowd come to hear a saintly woman.” We urge all who likewise revere the sacred right of life to raise their voice for truth, for the unborn, for those who, as Mother Teresa described on another occasion, are “the most vulnerable among us.”