Statements

Tuesday 9 November 2010
Statement of the Holy See in Explanation of Position on the Resolution “Supporting efforts to end obstetric fistula” (A/C.3/65/L.18/Rev.1) of the Third Committee of the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 9 November 2010
Statement of the Holy See in Explanation of Positionon the General Assembly Resolution “Supporting efforts to end obstetric fistula”A/C.3/65/L.18/Rev.1 Third Committee of the 65th session of the UN General AssemblyNew York, 9 November 2010 Mr. Chairman,On the adoption of this resolution, my delegation affirms its support of maternal and emergency obstetric care, skilled attendants at birth, and prenatal and postnatal care. Respecting the dignity of women is key to overcoming the problem of obstetric fistula and this entails addressing poverty and providing health care for them. However, terms like “sexual and reproductive health”, which appear in the resolution, when misconstrued as constituting a right to abortion, do not help women. For this reason, my delegation once again reaffirms the reservations it has made in reference to this and other similar terms, that they do not create any abortion rights, and cannot be interpreted to constitute support, endorsement, promotion or funding of abortion.Finally, attempts to prevent obstetric fistula by pushing to developing countries reproductive health commodities does nothing for the overall wellbeing of women, for they treat women not as persons who must be respected and cared for but as objects of agendas of aid giving countries. Instead, what is needed is an approach which takes into account the overall wellbeing of women which necessarily includes sufficient health care for them.Thank you, Mr. Chairman.