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Poland vetoes the UN Declaration on access to “reproductive health, including access to family planning methods”

Monday 20 July 2009, by siawi

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

From: Nina Sankari Europejska Feministyczna Inicjatywa w Polsce [European Feminist Initiative - Poland] (20 july 2009)

Poland vetoed the UN Declaration on access to “reproductive health, including access to family planning methods”, that means also rights and access to abortion.

Last session of United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), held a week ago in Geneva, was a key UN meeting on public health in 2009, its main task was to assess the implementation of the so-called Millennium Development Goals. One of them is to limit the high perinatal women’s mortality in the world, often associated with results of unsafe illegal abortions. It concerns, particularily, women in Africa and some countries in Asia and South America.

The proposed declaration on “reproductive health together with access to methods of family planning” has no legal force in the member states, and only sets out the broad lines of action.

All member countries have opted for the declaration, only Poland, supported by Ireland and Malta voted against. But Ireland and Malta are not members of ECOSOC, so it is thanks to Polish vote that the declaration was rejected.

Polish Ministry of Health explains the attitude of the Polish delegation by the application of the anti-abortion law in Poland against which the delegation was unable to act.

Catholic media in Poland and abroad (eg. USA) is pleased to announce the triumph of Catholic morality:

“Abortion offensive rebutted thanks to Poland. It was a great response to the abortion offensive aimed to define the killing of the unborn children as human rights and medical services” (Catholic journalist Thomas TERLIKOWSKI, Fronda.pl.)

In this way, Poland once again confirmed its official policy against women rights, policy which is in contradition with the EU position. Polish Government Spokesman said that Poland could accept the common position of EU in the field of reproductive health, provided the exclusion of abortion issues under other conditions than those authorized by the Polish law (threat to life or health of the mother, serious damage to the fetus, pregnancy as a result of criminal act).

Polish Catholic fundamentalism intends to impose its anti-abortion policy of outside of Poland, including in countries where international standards of reproductive health could save millions of women lives in the world.
The mission to enforce the so-called christian values is opposed to the fundamental values of democracy, to the full rights for women, including women’s right to dispose of their body and to have access to reproductive health.

In the European Union case it means a consent to the loss of women’s rights, gained by European women in a tough and long struggle. Without those rights, democracy in the European Union is an empty slogan.