Pro-Lifers Promote Adequate Health Care as Solution to Reducing Maternal Mortality, UN Continues to Push Abortion

By Dave Andrusko

Just how far apart—how diametrically opposite—are the answers pro and anti-life forces offer to the question of how to reduce maternal mortality among women in developing nations is a topic we’ve written about many times in NRL News and NRL News Today.

Pro-abortionists say the answer is more abortions and a policy of increasing “access.” Pro-lifers say most maternal deaths can be prevented with adequate nutrition, basic health care, and good obstetric care throughout pregnancy, at delivery, and postpartum. Legalized abortion only aggravates the existing problem, which starts with inadequate medical care.

Two posts this week from the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) deftly illustrate the differences and the role of abortion activists at the United Nations.

Douglas Sylvia, Ph.D. reports that over the summer that “the UN Secretariat released a report from the UN Human Rights Council calling on all nations to accept that women and girls must be granted access to legal abortion in order for them to fully enjoy their human rights.” And the report, written by UN Special Reporter An and Grover, not only characterizes protective abortion laws as “impermissible barriers to the realization of women’s right to health,” Grover also argues that “States must take measures to ensure that legal and safe abortion services are available, accessible, and of good quality.” That promotional campaign includes a host of proposed actions, including establishing available and accessible abortion clinics.

By contrast Tom McFeely writes about the MaterCare International conference which took place in Rome earlier this month. Participants heard that what vulnerable women need in developing countries is not abortion but a “Marshall Plan for Women.” Jeanne Head, Vice President for International Affairs and UN Representative for National Right to Life (NRLC), was among those who attended.

According to McFeely, The Marshall Plan for Mothers is the idea of Dr. Robert Walley, a British-born Canadian doctor and professor of obstetrics and gynecology. “The idea is to mobilize the resources of the Catholic Church to take the global lead in delivering adequate medical care to women who currently lack even the most basic rudiments of modern health care,” McFeely writes

In his C-Fam post, McFeely quotes from comments Dr. Walley made in an EWTN broadcast about the Rome conference. “The Culture of Death is spreading throughout the world,” Dr. Walley said. “So I thought to myself, maybe we should have a Marshall Plan for Mothers, when we know that what mothers need is essential health care. And that means what? Clean, safe places to have their babies, somebody who is properly trained to help them.”

Miss Head told McFeely that the Marshall Plan for Mothers was the most important and exciting topic discussed at the conference.

“For years, the pro-abortion UN agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations have been falsely claiming that legal abortion is needed to save women’s lives and have been diverting valuable resources toward decreasing the number of children women in the developing world deliver, rather than toward making the delivery of their children safe,” she said.

Head told NRL News Today, “Since we have known how to save women’s lives for more than 60 years in the developed world, it is a crime against humanity that women in the developing world are still dying or suffering grave injury delivering their babies.”  Head added, “And it is crucial to promote (for women in the developing world) the provision of and access to the kind of maternal health care, which provides a healthy outcome for mother and child, that is available to women in the developed world.

Disproving the abortion lobby’s false claims that legalized abortion is necessary to save women’s lives is essential to counter the international drive to promote abortion as a component of maternal healthcare. One of the educational sources  that does just that is “Why Legalized Abortion is not good for women’s health,” a joint production of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach (MCCL GO) and the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund.

You read that brochure in its entirely at That is an analysis of according research from the World Health Organization, United Nations, The Lancet and other resources demonstrates conclusively that Leaders of a renewed emphasis on improving health care for women is the only sure means of reducing maternal mortality.

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