- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 8, 2002

Should children have the right to abortion? Should they have the right to live in alternative forms of family, which include homosexual parents? Should they have the right to condoms? With questions such as these being raised in negotiating sessions ahead of today's special session on children at the United Nations, it is no wonder delegates, NGOs and political leaders are having a hard time plowing through the draft language of a U.N. document about how to better help children for the next 10 years. The document, called "A World Fit for Children," contains elusive language pertaining to children's rights that has given cause for concern to pro-family NGOs. But the Bush administration has aptly tried to ensure that the family, and children's innocence and well-being, are protected.

On Friday, the Bush administration's delegation moved to add a footnote that "reproductive health care services," which were listed in the document as a right to be given to all children, should not include abortion. The administration also moved to ensure there was no confusion over who has the primary responsibility for raising and protecting children a family unit defined as a marriage between a man and a woman. This helps anyone who would be confused by what the United Nations meant by "various forms of the family," a phrase that pro-family groups and the Bush administration worried could bless homosexual parenting.

Deliberations over the pro-family language had been stalled the day before the meeting, with a possibility that the U.N. General Assembly would vote this week on whether to specify that reproductive health services do not include abortion. Carol Bellamy, the director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), said in an interview last week that reproductive issues would always be a controversial topic as long as there were U.N. meetings, but that the outcome of the negotiations would not differ from previous U.N. agreements.

What makes this U.N. summit different from others is that the pro-life NGOs have the Bush administration on their side to challenge the status quo. "The Bush administration hasn't made any bones about its pro-family agenda at the United Nations child summit; they're holding firm on abortion, homosexual marriage and the reproductive rights of 'adolescents,' " Family Research Council President Ken Conner said.

This week's three-day U.N. conference will be a measuring stick of the Bush administration's success at countering the efforts of liberal NGOs and U.N. bureaucrats to make children slaves to adults' prurient agendas. The administration is speaking up for the novel idea that to save a child's life is more important than to destroy it, that teaching him discipline will give him a better chance of survival than handing him a piece of rubber, and that giving a child a home with a mother and father will provide the nurture he needs. Looks like they are asking for controversy.

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