Skip to content Skip to navigation

Social:

RSS:

Vatican Radio

The voice of the Pope and the Church in dialogue with the World

language:

Vatican \ Speeches

Abortion not part of ‘reproductive health’ - Holy See to UN

Pope Francis meets Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN in Geneva - AP

Pope Francis meets Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN in Geneva - AP

27/06/2017 18:31

(Vatican Radio)  The Holy See has told the United Nations that abortion should not be considered part of the term ‘sexual and reproductive health’ and that ‘gender’ means only biological sexual identity and difference.

Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN in Geneva, made the remarks during a meeting on a UN resolution for coordinating humanitarian assistance.

He said the Holy See regrets the inclusion of several abortion methods, especially the “vacuum extractor”, in a resolution entitled “Strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations”.

Archbishop Jurkovič said the Holy See insists “insist that healthcare services must never be intended - or operate - against the life of the most defenseless or the unborn. The application of the right to life must never discriminate based on the various stages of life.”

“Although we acknowledge the particular risks that women and children face in humanitarian emergencies contexts and their specific and integral needs regarding access to basic healthcare, essential obstetric services, sanitary and food security, we cannot accept as an appropriate solution those services that provide and/or promote abortion,” he continued.

Archbishop Jurkovič also clarified the Vatican’s position on two points regarding abortion and gender identity. He said:

1. The Holy See does not consider abortion, access to abortion, or access to abortifacients as a dimension of the terms “sexual and reproductive health” and “sexual and reproductive healthcare services”.

2. With reference to “gender”, the Holy See understands the term to be grounded in biological sexual identity and difference. We kindly ask that the text of this statement be included on the official records of this meeting.

Please find below the full address:

Statement by His Excellency Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva at the ECOSOC Humanitarian Segment Explanation of Position on the resolution entitled “Strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations” 

Geneva, 23 June 2017 

Mr. President and Distinguished Co-facilitators,

My Delegation would like to thank the co-facilitators and OCHA for their commitment and hard work in achieving consensus during this year’s informal negotiations of the resolution entitled “Strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations.”

Despite an open and fruitful cooperation of many delegations, this year’s negotiations have been particularly difficult. If, on the one hand, we made some progress, such as specific paragraphs on famine and food insecurity, on the other hand, we regret the inclusion of the controversial Minimal Initial Service Package (MISP) in the text.

The Minimal Initial Service Package (MISP) is a set of priority activities, provided by UNFPA, and includes 13 types of Reproductive Health Kits designed for women and girls of reproductive age, some of which entail abortion. Among them, “KIT 10” provides the well-known “vacuum extractor”, which is the most common method to procure abortion, and which brings serious risks also to the mother’s health.

Our Delegation would like to insist that healthcare services must never be intended - or operate - against the life of the most defenseless or the unborn. The application of the right to life must never discriminate based on the various stages of life. Although we acknowledge the particular risks that women and children face in humanitarian emergencies contexts and their specific and integral needs regarding access to basic healthcare, essential obstetric services, sanitary and food security, we cannot accept as an appropriate solution those services that provide and/or promote abortion. For these reasons, our Delegation dissociates itself from the paragraphs of the resolution that promote MISP as a proper answer to the already dramatic situations faced by so many women and children in challenging humanitarian settings.

In addition, our Delegation would like to reiterate its reservations on the following concepts:

1. The Holy See does not consider abortion, access to abortion, or access to abortifacients as a dimension of the terms “sexual and reproductive health” and “sexual and reproductive healthcare services”.

2. With reference to “gender”, the Holy See understands the term to be grounded in biological sexual identity and difference. We kindly ask that the text of this statement be included on the official records of this meeting.

I thank you.


(Devin Sean Watkins)
27/06/2017 18:31