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WHO is preparing an escalation of attacks on life-saving law

Published: 27.08.2021

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Proposed new World Health Organization guidelines on so-called ‘safe abortion’ are expected to increase pressure on national authorities to remove laws protecting the lives of unborn children.

The WHO describes laws restricting the ability to perform abortions or the right to conscientious objection of health professionals as ‘barriers that may affect access to timely and safe abortion care’.

In recent years, there has been an increasing tendency by the WHO to promote self-induced abortions.

An article describing these activities was published in the journal BMJ Global Health.


The WHO’s position is a yet another example of how it is trying to introduce into the international language through the back door concepts that are completely at odds with the law. Documents issued by the WHO are presented as independent expert knowledge, although in fact they serve to promote a specific ideology. They then serve as a reference for committees and other international bodies when drafting documents of a legal nature. We cannot agree to this, and that is why it is necessary to constantly monitor the activities of UN agencies’, said Karolina Pawłowska, Director of the Ordo Iuris International Law Centre.

The planned publication of the World Health Organization is a part of the process of updating the guidelines on abortion. Currently, the organisation’s position is that the procedure of aborting a child using the so-called ‘self-care’ method, i.e. performed by women themselves, without the participation of a doctor, should be promoted. The WHO has promoted abortion before, identifying it as a fundamental right of girls and women and a human right.

In 2020, the WHO issued a comprehensive document recommending that countries keep health services as accessible as possible, despite the spread of coronavirus. Hidden under the term ‘services’ in the chapter on ‘reproductive and sexual rights’ is so-called safe abortion. Even in this document, the WHO encourages women to perform pharmacological abortions on their own, without the help of medical personnel. In this document, it is presented as the ‘safest’ method of taking the life of a child up to the 12th week of pregnancy and, in some cases, even up to the 24th week, when the child is already able to live outside the mother’s body if adequate medical assistance is provided. The organisation makes no mention of the risks to a woman’s life and health associated with the practice of home termination of pregnancy. As statistics show, almost one in four mothers who have officially undergone a medical abortion have experienced distressing symptoms, including even the need for hospitalisation, associated with severe infections.

The position of the WHO contradicts basic provisions of international law and the findings of major international conferences organised by the United Nations. Furthermore, also the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that human life shall be protected both before and after birth. Importantly, the WHO raises funds, not only from states or their federations, but also from private entities. One such entity is the American chain of abortion clinics Planned Parenthood.

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