The Women Deliver conference in Kuala Lumpur, which claimed to be about women’s health, focused heavily on abortion and contraception while overlooking pressing health issues around the world. That’s what members of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) who attended the May 28-30 three-day conference said.
This is the third Women Deliver conference, which family planning advocates started in 2007, and it touched only lightly, during after-hour workshops, on genuine health problems in many countries, including the lack of menstruation hygiene. Girls in developing countries face poor sanitation, limited hygiene products, and discrimination in societies that consider menstruating women unclean. Some risk violence as societies bar them from using family water supplies, forcing them to travel by themselves to faraway water sources.
The major goal of the conference, according to C-FAM’s Wendy Wright, was to push “reproductive and sexual health and rights” into the United Nations’ new development goals. Sessions promoted late-term abortions, taught ways to skirt abortion laws, and discussed the importance of getting rid of the abortion regulations in developing countries. The most publicized conference speech, by Microsoft-wealthy Melinda Gates, promoted her $4.6 billion campaign to create a distribution system that would get contraceptives—and abortion-inducing drugs as well—to poor women.
In a session about increasing access to abortions, Nigerian doctor Talemoh Dah said it was never too late to have an abortion: “Speaking as a obstetrician, and a gynecologist, there is—abortion can never be late.” He went on to warn that aborting a well-formed unborn child could cause a “national scandal” if pro-life advocates take a photo of it, so abortionists should be careful how they dispose of the corpse and should ensure the baby is dead first—“but it can never be late to expel any pregnancy.”