Blog Post

Two Worlds Collide at UN Over Family Planning

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist At a UN panel hosted last week by the Holy See, representatives of the developed world castigated the Vatican and others for opposing family planning while spokespersons for the developing world argued they need more - not less - people. LifeNews is reporting that the panel, which was hosted by the Holy See, Honduras and Malta called "Secure HumanDevelopment: Marriage, Family, Community" brought together representatives from the developing and developed world who clashed when it came to on population control policies. Laurie Shestack-Phipps, a US representative to the UN, asked: "How can you say that you value family, community, and marriage, but not bring into the picture that both men and women have a right to a healthy life, to be able to avoid unsafe abortion, and have access to the highest attainable standard of reproductive health, and to decide how many children they should have?” On the other hand, Sarah Flood-Beaubrun of St. Lucia asked: "How do we get our fertility rate to rise? We were told we needed to reduce our fertility rate - now we have an aging population." Both arguments highlight the bind many developing nations are in who need help in the form of food and medicine, and are instead fed a steady diet of condoms and pills to control the population. "One the one side are rich countries demanding poor countries reduce their fertility rates and the poor countries saying they need higher fertility rates for not just development but survival," writes Steve Ertelt of Life News. "Almost half the countries in the world are facing what has come to be known as demographic winter, where fertility rates have fallen so dramatically that populations are rapidly aging." Archbishop Francis Chullikatt of the Holy See Mission strongly warned against such warped priorities.  “International programs of economic assistance aimed at financing campaigns of sterilization and contraception, as well as the subordination of economic assistance to such campaigns, are affronts to the dignity of the person, the family, and the human community,” he said. Even though most nations have achieved low fertility rates, the UN continues to ask donor nations for more money for family planning services and for "commodities" such as condoms, pills, and injectibles that prevent pregnancy. © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®