BBC NEWS
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: Health: Background Briefings: International  
News Front Page
World
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
UK Politics
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Background Briefings
Medical notes
Education
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
CBBC News
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
International Wednesday, 10 February, 1999, 17:54 GMT
Vatican warns against 'back door' abortion
The Pope's representative criticised morning after pills
The Vatican has warned a UN conference on population not to promote abortion by the back door.

Monsignor Frank Dewane, representing the Holy See, told the UN population conference in the Hague that it should not promote morning after and abortion pills.

"There can be no surreptitious recognition of a right to abortion through policies aimed at creating new categories of personal rights or including health services which protect women's lives by making possible 'safe abortion'," he said.

Although vociferous in its opposition to abortion and contraception at the previous UN population conference in Cairo in 1994, the Vatican has been keeping a low profile this time around.

Representatives from 180 countries are at the conference, which began on Monday and ends on Friday.

Unsafe abortion

Other delegates have emphasized the importance of making safe abortions available to all women and, in a speech on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton stressed women's right to choose safe and reliable health care.

Some 78,000 women a year die as a result of undergoing unsafe abortions, according to the World Health Organisation.

The Cairo conference agreed a plan of action which stated that unsafe abortion was "a major public health concern".

The Vatican expressed concern at the time that such phrases seemed to support the legalisation of abortion.

George Foulkes, the UK government representative, called for action to reduce the number of women dying in pregnancy and childbirth.

He said efforts needed to be stepped up to find a vaccine for Aids and to make condoms as readily available as Coca-Cola.

Hillary Clinton wants more choice for women over family planning
The UN predicts 40 million people may be living with HIV by the year 2000 - many of them women from developing countries.

Mr Foulkes, the UK International Development minister, also called for increased efforts to find a vaccine for Aids and products that specifically protect women from getting HIV, such as microbicides.

"These products, as with condoms and contraception, will need to be subsidised, from government and donors' funds, to ensure that poor people will be able to benefit from them," he said.

See also:

28 Jan 99 | Health
Links to more International stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more International stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
UK Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes