Upon release of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) annual report, The State of World Population 2014, UNFPA executive director Babatunde Osotimehin lauded the record number of global youth as “potential for economic and social progress” but the report claims that to realize a “demographic dividend” abortion and contraception must be made readily available to adolescents. The report also calls for liberalization of age of consent, drug, and prostitution laws.
The State of the World Population report says, “young people require a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services, including . . . safe abortion care.” It called upon all countries to abide by international treaties “to catch up with the realities of adolescents and youth” in matters of sexuality.
But as Rebecca Oas of the Center for Family and Human Rights points out, “no UN treaty mentions abortion, nor obliges countries to make youth vulnerable to adults offering sexual and reproductive services.”
Matt Wojciechowski, Campaign Life Coalition’s United Nations representative, told The Interim that the Population Fund report is nothing new. “It is hardly newsworthy because they have been pushing for the same sexual and reproductive rights agenda – that is abortion, explicit sexual education, and contraception on demand – for years.”
However, Wojciechowski explains, “there is a growing trend to undermine parental rights and authority so the state can bypass parents to foist a radical sexual agenda on their children.” The CLC representative also notes that at the United Nations, the push for sexual rights is for children as young as ten.
A major focus of the report is on youth achieving their potential, but “to do this,” the UNFPA said, “countries must do more to protect human rights, including reproductive rights, improve health, including sexual and reproductive health, and provide skills and knowledge to build young people’s capabilities and agency.” For example, the report states, “age of consent laws contradict the idea that young people should participate in decisions that affect them in line with their evolving capabilities.” Oas says the UNFPA mistakenly equates, “participation in decision-making with unilateral control.”
The report also condemns laws against homosexual behaviour, drug use, and prostitution on the grounds that they “fall particularly hard on young people realizing their sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.”
The UNFPA has long lauded population control as a necessary precondition for economic growth. However, the social science does not show a causal relationship between declining fertility and economic prosperity and many experts believe that declining fertility follows economic growth, not vice versa.
Oddly, Oas notes, the report finds that while young people are held back by economic stagnation and lack of education or employment opportunities, its chief concern is still that poverty, “can be a powerful barrier to individuals getting what they need to achieve their sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.”
CLC’s Wojciechowski says, “tragically, their primary concern with poverty is that it’s an obstacle to sexual and reproductive rights.”
Oas concludes that the “UNFPA posits that the imposition of sexual anarchy upon youth will ensure their well-being and that of the whole world.”