HEAD OF UNICEF STEPS DOWN, NEW DIRECTOR WON'T PROMOTE ABORTION

Autor: Steven Ertelt Fuente: LifeNews.com

UNICEF  New York, NY (LifeNews.com) -- The director of a United Nation's agency dedicated to children, who came under fire for promoting abortion, has stepped down. Her replacement has indicated that she doesn't view abortion as a legitimate issue that falls under the purview of UNICEF.
Carol Bellamy was the director of the United Nation's Children's Fund (UNICEF) for ten years and pro-life groups were frequently concerned at the pro-abortion positions the agency took under her direction.

"She has taken UNICEF in the radical feminist direction of promoting abortion rights," Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, told Family News in Focus. "It is her feeling and the feeling of the people she brought into UNICEF that children will not get their rights until women can get their rights first."

As recently as October, UNICEF officials wrote members of the New Zealand parliament telling them to oppose efforts to require abortion business to tell parents when their teenage daughters are considering an abortion.

"The child advocacy group said the primary right when a girl became pregnant was not the right of a parent to know," the New Zealand Herald newspaper reported.

However, outgoing U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman will take over at UNICEF after being nominated by President Bush for the post.

Veneman says she will shift the agency's attention back to helping children combat hunger and disease and away from making sure teenagers can get abortions.

Earlier this year, Veneman said she thought advancing aborion was "irrelevant" to UNICEF's mission.

Veneman says she will shift the agency's attention back to helping children combat hunger and disease and away from making sure teenagers can get abortions.

Veneman said at a press conference that she wants UNICEF to champion "an agenda of helping children, particularly in the areas of education and health and to address the issues of hunger and malnutrition."
Asked by a reporter about "reproductive health" issues, she responded: "I don't believe that these issues are relevant to the missions of UNICEF."

However, it may take some time to reform the agency as Bellamy, appointed by former President Bill Clinton, had 10 years to appoint numerous bureaucrats.

Jeanne Head of the National Right to Life Committee told FNIF that Bellamy "totally changed the focus of UNICEF from child survival to a rights-based approach."

Because of its support for abortion, pro-life groups frequently urged Americans to not make donations to the agency or participate in fundraisers for it.

"We encourage our people not to donate to UNICEF under the present circumstances," Head explained, "but, hopefully, if we see a change then we won't have a problem with it."

UNICEF receives $80 million in taxpayer funds annually from the United States.

"UNICEF denies promoting abortion, but it has endorsed, and even helped to draft, documents that call for the legalization of abortion," Population Research Institute president Steven Mosher says.

According to Mosher, UNICEF has funded the Population Council, the group that holds the U.S. patent for dangerous RU-486 abortion drug that has killed women in California and Sweden recently.

Another group UNICEF funds is a South African organization called LoveLife, which actively encourages teenage girls to have abortions.

Dismayed at the change in focus, the Vatican ended its financial support for the UN agency in 1996.
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