- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 11, 2002

NEW YORK A U.N.-financed sex-education manual for teens that promotes abortion, homosexuality and even sex with animals has not been withdrawn in Latin American nations as UNICEF says it has, current and former government officials from Mexico and Nicaragua said yesterday.
The manual circulated among delegates at a U.N. Child Summit here as evidence that the world body promotes abortion is still being used throughout Mexico, said Leonora Valdes, a former official with the Mexican Federal Department of Integral Development for Family (DIF), which produced the books in 1999 with funding from UNICEF.
A "very similar" book, financed by the U.N. Fund for Population Activities, is being used throughout Nicaragua, said Elida Z. Solorzano, an adviser to its minister of families.
"It promotes homosexuality, promiscuous behavior and abortion" by teen-agers, said Mrs. Solorzano, an observer at the three-day summit that ended yesterday.
Carol Bellamy, UNICEF executive director, said at a news conference yesterday that the contentious nature of the book had no bearing on the inability of delegates at the summit to agree, until last night, on the wording of an action agenda to protect children. Rather, she said, abortion and other hot-button issues are standing in the way of agreement.
"It isn't holding things up," Mrs. Bellamy said of the book. "The manual has been withdrawn. There weren't a huge number of copies. There may still be a few copies around. How do you find them all?"
"We do not support abortion, we do not recommend abortion, we do not fund abortion," Mrs. Bellamy added. "Abortion is not part of UNICEF."
"It's not true," Mrs. Valdes said of Mrs. Bellamy's assertion that the book was withdrawn from circulation in Mexico in 1999. "It is being used in the social-assistance system for counseling adolescents until age 10."
A revised sex-education manual without offensive elements and "acceptable to the Mexican family" is used in Jalisco and Nueva Leon, Mrs. Valdes said. But the UNICEF-funded manual is still used in 30 other states in Mexico, she said.
Mrs. Solorzano said she was told by an official delegate from Honduras that the same manual is used in his country, and that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) had funded production of the manual in El Salvador.
"I have seen it," she said. "It's the same thing. The USAID one has very graphic pictures."
USAID officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The UNICEF-funded manual from Mexico, whose title translated into English is "Theoretic Elements for Working With Mothers and Pregnant Teens," suggests: "Situations in which you can obtain sexual pleasure: 1. Masturbation. 2. Sexual relations with a partner whether heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. 3. A sexual response that is directed toward inanimate objects, animals, minors, non-consenting persons."
An accompanying guide, whose title translated into English is "Workshop on Sexual and Reproductive Health for Mothers and Pregnant Teens," gives advice on "sexual relations with a partner."
"Here we should insist there is no ideal or perfect relations between two or several people," the manual states. "The one that gives us the most satisfaction and that which is adopted to our way of being and the style of life we have chosen. This is why we encounter many differences among women. Some women like to have relations with men. And others with another woman."
Mrs. Bellamy said the manuals were produced by the Mexican government. "It did have some UNICEF money. I don't know how much."
The books were discovered and brought to the child summit by officers of United Families International (UFI). The Arizona-based nongovernmental organization has been lobbying delegates to remove language from the summit's final action document guaranteeing "reproductive health services" to children, which they say would include abortions.
The UNICEF manual states, "Reproductive health includes the following components: Counseling on sexuality, pregnancy, methods of contraception, abortion, infertility, infections and disease."
"We have never been able to find concrete evidence until now that UNICEF, despite all the many wonderful things it does for children throughout the world, has another side through which it promotes abortion and sexual promiscuity by children, even perverted sex as well," said UFI President Sharon Slater.
Mrs. Slater said UNICEF officials have taken actions to deny her group access to official delegates negotiating the summit document, as well as made it difficult for them to circulate materials about the UNICEF book.
"We have been discriminated against at the U.N. conference by UNICEF staff, we believe, because of our stand on family issues," she said.
Meanwhile, pro-family forces, including the United States and a coalition of Catholic and Muslim countries, were successful last night in forcing many European and Latin American countries to agree to drop language from the summit's final action agenda viewed as undermining the traditional family.
"It was a big pro-family victory," said Austin Ruse, director of the Catholic and Family Human Rights Institute. "The United States took press hits all over the world. They were so brave and strong. It was a tremendous victory for them."
The U.S.-led bloc opposed the phrase "reproductive health services," which some conservatives interpret as advocating abortion. Agreement on the final document was reached about three hours before midnight, the scheduled end of the summit.
"Reproductive health services, which the Canadian delegate said included abortion, is out of the document," said Jean Head, lobbyist for National Right to Life Committee.

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