New York—The Commission on Population and Development (CPD) should really just be called the Commission on Population Control. The Secretary-General’s report focused almost entirely on education and health in sexual contexts and rarely addressed development. The only time the expert panels ever mentioned development was when they were talking about developing reproductive health care services (read: abortion). Neither did the Commission recognize the immense benefits that population growth bring to a developing nation. Instead, the Secretary-General’s report classified pregnancy as a disease to be controlled.

One of the primary goals for the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) was to recognize youth-friendly comprehensive sexuality education as a right for youth, independent of their parents’ involvement or knowledge. IPPF brought in dozens of young people who called for the elimination of parental obstacles which limit the access of minors to abortion and contraception services.

The commission failed to define “youth” in their document, so other UN conventions indicate that these rights would extend to children as young as 10 or 12 years old. Although comprehensive sexuality education was eventually included, IPPF’s goal of separating sexuality education from parental involvement was denied by the commission.

In response to these attacks by anti-family forces, Personhood USA partnered with other pro-life non-governmental organizations, including ones from Mexico, Colombia, and Chile. Our team used a flyer designed by Personhood USA to explain the serious long-term consequences of population control policies and to propose alternative actions that respect human dignity and encourage development. The flyer, titled “What do youth have to do with the economy?”, was circulated to and used by all of the pro-life organizations at the UN. National delegates even used it to negotiate behind closed doors! Our UN outreach is already successfully educating the world about the value and potential of human persons.

On behalf of a Mexican pro-life organization, Vida y Familia, I delivered a speech to the UN assembly demonstrating the importance of natural population growth, supporting adoption over abortion, and advocating trade education for youth rather than IPPF-controlled sex education. The assembly applauded, especially those delegations sick of hearing from IPPF surrogates!