International

UN Secretary-General spokesperson says abortion is foundation of gender equality

Antonio Gueterres, abortion

At a daily press briefing on May 3, 2022, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General António Guterres suggested that abortion is the foundation of gender equality.

The response was in reference to a question concerning the recently leaked Supreme Court draft opinion suggesting that the court is ready to overturn Roe v Wade, the case that forcibly legalized abortion in all 50 states in 1973.

A spokesman for the secretary-general, Farhan Haq, declined to comment on the leaked document or the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling specifically, but said, “The Secretary-General has long believed that sexual and reproductive health and rights are the foundation for lives of choice, empowerment and equality for the world’s women and girls. And without the full participation of 50% of its population, the world would be the biggest loser.”

READ: Abortion is not, and never has been, about women’s equality

Haq continued, “[Guterres] has repeatedly pointed to what he has said is a global pushback that we’re seeing on women’s rights, including reproductive rights and essential health services, and he believes it’s essential to keep pursuing women’s rights.” Guterres has suggested in the past that regulations on abortion result in women’s inequality. “Just as slavery and colonialism were a stain on previous centuries, women’s inequality should shame us all in the 21st. Because it is not only unacceptable; it is stupid,” he said in 2020.

“There is a strong and relentless pushback against women’s rights,” Guterres said. “Women’s sexual and reproductive rights are under threat from different sides.”

But the pro-life position is that killing is not a sexual or reproductive right. Once reproduction has already occurred, another human being is present, and that human being has a right to life as a member of the human species.

Women do not need to kill their own offspring in order to be equal to men. Every human being, from fertilization to natural death, is inherently equal. Legalized abortion didn’t make women equal, but instead put them in the position of oppressor instead of men.

Interestingly, in 2017 when Guterres was selected as the new Secretary-General, the National Catholic Register reported, “Guterres is also on the record regarding life issues. According to the Catholic Herald, after defending the life of the unborn against his party, he and other pro-life socialists were removed from active roles in the Socialist Party.

As Father Melícias told the Herald, “As far as difficult issues such as abortion and gay rights, he has always been a very consistent man, and this will not change, despite the many difficulties which might arise.”

But the statements made by the Secretary-General’s spokesman, Farhan Haq, suggest that the Secretary-General’s position on life has changed significantly during his time in office.

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