Holy See rep “welcomes” UN target for “universal access to sexual and reproductive health”

A representative of the Holy See, in an intervention at the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva last week, welcomed Sustainable Development Goal 3 and all its targets, despite target 7 calling for “universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services.” These terms are defined as including abortion and contraception by many powerful governments and agencies.

Monsignor Jean-Marie Musivi Mupendawatu, secretary to the Pontifical  Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Care Workers told the WHA that the Holy See commended the report on health in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their targets.

The SDGs will have immense influence on the direction of international and national decision-making and financial aid for the next 15 years. The UN states that the SDGs “demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda”, which is to be implemented “for all nations and peoples and for all segments of society.”

The Holy See delegation, Mgr Mupendawatu said, “welcomes the vital emphasis on the dignity of the human person and the strong focus on equity expressed in the pledge that ‘no one will be left behind’.” This, he continued, “In terms of health is expressed in goal 3 to ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages,’ which has 13 targets that are underpinned by universal coverage as the key to the achievement of all the others (WHA69/15 par. 25).”

Mgr Mupendawatu’s unqualified acceptance of Goal 3 and its targets, includes target 3.7 which reads as follows:

“by 2030 ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programs”

“Sexual and reproductive health care services” are widely defined as including abortion and contraception. For example, the United Nations Population Fund states that “sexual and reproductive health” includes access for all to “the safe, effective, affordable and acceptable contraception method of their choice”, which includes methods of contraception that are, or can be, abortifacient. The Population Fund also supports other methods of abortion, stating: “where abortion is legal, national health systems should make it safe and accessible.”Abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood openly consider abortion and contraception as integral to “sexual and reproductive health”, including in materials aimed at teenagers. It is also a term which is used by the Obama administration to include access to abortion.

Mgr Mupendawatu, in welcoming goal 3 and target 7 of the SDG’s, is effectively welcoming calls for universal access to abortion and contraception by 2030.

Mgr Mupendawatu made no reference to the statement of reservations issued by the Holy See delegation to the UN in New York after the approval of the SDGs by the UN in September 2015. In that statement the Holy See expressed some reservations regarding Goals 3.7 and 5.6, both of which refer to “sexual and reproductive health”. The text of the Holy See statement of reservations can be accessed here.

Despite the reservations expressed by the Holy See delegation in New York, there has been extensive collaboration between other Holy See bodies and powerful proponents of abortion, contraception and population control during the current pontificate, under the guise of promoting sustainable development. A selection of Voice of the Family’s commentary on this collaboration can be found below.

Pro-family Catholics disturbed after reports of Pope’s comments on contraception, 18 February 2016

Climate agreement welcomed by pope but pro-lifers concerned about language that promotes abortion, 22 December 2015

Cardinal Turkson: Pope Francis ‘has invited people to some form of birth control”, 10 December 2015

‘Sacrilege’: Catholic leaders react to Vatican’s climate change light show, 9 December 2015

Synod adopts alarming sociological approach in place of clear doctrine, 12 November 2015

Voice of the Family statement: Parents are the primary educators of their children, 15 October 2015

Synod fathers who compromise on contraception will be responsible for greater abortion, 6 October 2015

African families gravely threatened by western governments, international agencies and Vatican departments, 18 August 2015

Professor Schellnhuber: climate science and the population problem, 26 June 2015

Launch of new encyclical by head of Catholic agency accused of funding contraception shows urgent need for reaffirmation of Humanae Vitae, 19 June 2015

Voice of the Family statement on the encyclical letter Laudato Si, 18 June 2015

Any discussion on the environment must stem from understanding that the family is the key to sustainable development, 21 May 2015

Vatican endorsement of UN Sustainable Development Goals threatens unborn children, 29 April 2015

Leading global pro-abortion advocates speak at Vatican conference, 28 April 2015