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Why the U.S. Letter Opposing the U.N.’s Coronavirus Response Plan Is Essential

May 26, 2020

By: Elyssa Koren, Director of U.N. Advocacy at ADF International

Earlier this month, the United Nations announced a $2 billion plan for providing coronavirus relief.

With more than 350,000 lives lost to the coronavirus worldwide, assistance is much needed, and the plan does provide much-needed relief in areas such as food security and nutrition, physical and mental health, and water and sanitation.

But the plan also carries with it a secondary agenda—the promotion of abortion in countries where the practice is illegal or highly restricted, particularly in the developing world.

This agenda is what led USAID, the U.S. government agency responsible for foreign aid and development assistance, to issue a letter to the U.N. Secretary General earlier this week. In the letter, USAID voiced opposition, requesting that abortion be dropped from the plan.

Given that the current administration does not promote abortion in its development assistance, the U.S. government cannot endorse the use of American funds via the U.N. for abortion services for both women and girls.

Here are three reasons why it was critical that the U.S. stood up to the U.N. on abortion funding in the coronavirus aid package.


1. Many smaller member countries lack a voice at the U.N., and the U.S. can act as that voice.

The U.N. was created to give each of its member states an equal voice. But in practice, that is not how the U.N. operates. The reality is that the majority of pro-life countries do not have the weight to dissent from the pro-abortion agenda at the U.N. Many of these countries are dependent on U.N. aid and so are left to follow along with the U.N. political agenda—even if that agenda contradicts their own national laws.

The U.S., on the other hand, has considerable weight as a major donor to the U.N. and has the opportunity to lead the way in opposing abortion in international processes at the U.N. It has done just that. In the past year, over twenty countries have joined forces with the U.S. in opposing abortion on an international stage.


2. The U.N. should not be allowed to override the national conversation on abortion happening in the U.S.

There’s no doubt that there are a variety of positions and an intense debate surrounding abortion in the U.S. But the U.N. has no right to insert itself into that debate.

The decision on whether to pursue a pro-life or a pro-abortion agenda lies with the American people, speaking through their elected representatives. And the U.N. should respect the laws that come out of these national conversations, not try to undermine them by promoting an international pro-abortion agenda.


3. We cannot fight death with more death.

Abortion has no bearing on coronavirus relief. In fact, it works against the goal of the coronavirus relief plan—which is to preserve human life. Why respond to the death toll of the coronavirus with more deaths?

A crisis like the coronavirus should bring us together. Now more than ever, we need to unite under a common goal of defeating COVID-19 and protecting human life—no matter our beliefs, our politics, or our country.

We are grateful to USAID for reminding us of that.

Alliance Defending Freedom

Alliance Defending Freedom

Non-profit organization

Alliance Defending Freedom advocates for your right to freely live out your faith

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