U.S., Other Nations Release Joint Statement On ICPD25, Address Use Of SRHR Term, Abortion, Sex Education

The Guardian: Family planning schemes must offer options other than abortion, says U.S.
“The U.S. will only support family planning programs that offer alternatives to abortions, a senior policy adviser has told a conference in Nairobi. … Valerie Huber, the U.S. special representative for global women’s health, also told a summit on population and development that her country sought to combat gender-based violence by investing in programs that respected the rights of women and girls, but didn’t compromise ‘the inherent value of every human life — born and unborn’…” (Okiror/Ford, 11/14).

Quartz: The American anti-abortion movement is reverberating abroad
“…A quarter of a century later, many of the actors that met in Cairo are reconvening this week in Nairobi for ICPD25, but under very different circumstances. While they will be enthusiastically renewing the original commitments, they are also essentially acknowledging that those original goals were never met. The current U.S. president, Donald Trump, is not in attendance and, in fact, refuses to even fund the U.N. agency organizing it all. The big issue impeding progress? Abortion…” (Merelli, 11/14).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: U.S. raps global health summit over abortion, sex education
“Ten countries — including the United States, Brazil, and Egypt — criticized a global conference on sexual and reproductive health on Thursday, saying it promoted abortion and sex education. … [The] states said they did not support the International Conference on Population and Development’s (ICPD) use of the term ‘sexual and reproductive health and rights’ as it could be used to promote abortion. Valerie Huber, senior policy adviser with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said not all countries had been fully consulted ahead of the event, organized by the United Nations, Denmark, and Kenya. ‘There is no international right to abortion…’ said Huber. ‘We cannot support sex education that fails to adequately engage parents and which promotes abortion as a method of family planning,’ she said in a joint statement on behalf of the group…” (Bhalla, 11/14).

Xinhua: Global population summit endorses new roadmap for maternal health
“The Nairobi Summit of International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) wrapped up in Nairobi on Thursday with more than 9,500 delegates from 170 countries, adopting 12 resolutions to promote reproductive health for women and girls. … [Natalia Kanem, executive director of UNFPA,] revealed that UNFPA will set up a high level commission to monitor and report on progress made in the implementation of commitments agreed at the Nairobi population summit” (11/14).

Additional coverage of issues addressed at the summit is available from Devex, The Telegraph, and Thomson Reuters Foundation (2). The U.S. Commitment Statement to the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 is available here.