During the 10th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held on Thursday Oct. 14, U.S. Ambassador Sichan Siv told members of the United Nations General Assembly not to use a document on families and population to promote abortion on an international scale.
Adopted by 179 nations in Cairo in 1994, the document focuses on population and health issues such as maternal mortality, lack of access to health care in impoverished nations, and dealing with the spread of the AIDS virus.
The plan states that abortion should not be used as a method of family planning, but it also says unsafe abortion should be treated as a public health issue, and that women who have abortions should not be treated as criminals, according to AP.
Siv said the Bush administration was worried that some nations "might be misusing ICPD to promote abortion." However, after receiving assurances from country after country that that was not the intent, Siv said that he was glad to see other countries committing not to use the plan to advance abortion.
While explaining about other social issues, Siv said the promotion of behavior change which encourages sexual abstinence and fidelity is integral to the battle against HIV/AIDS.
Siv elaborated, "With the understanding that states will not misuse ICPD in that way, we are pleased to continue to offer our support for ICPD and its Program of Action."
The U.S. is the largest single donor of maternal health assistance. It has spent $475 million annually over the last four years to finance maternal health, family planning and reproductive health programs.