". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Delegates Push for Abortion Expansion and Shun Taiwan at the World Health Assembly

May 30, 2024

Tuesday afternoon, at the (fourth) plenary meeting of the 77th World Health Assembly (WHA77), country delegates continued to respond to the opening statements of Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus.

Along with affirming the World Health Organization (WHO) as an important leader of health, Finland recognized the fact that “[i]n crises, women often bear the biggest burden with respect to their families and health care. It is important to recognize women’s role in solving crises and strengthening the sustainability and social cohesion of societies. … We encourage the WHO to continue the strengthening of gender mainstreaming and sexual reproductive health and rights.”

This was affirmed by an official press release published by the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs, which stated, “It is particularly important for Finland to promote gender equality and the rights of women in a cross-cutting manner in matters related to health and wellbeing.”

Notably, the most recent draft of the pandemic agreement highlights the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 5 (gender equality), which both mention sexual reproductive health and rights. The statements made by Finland are in line with the goals of the WHO to expand sexual reproductive health and rights to the rest of the world as laid out in the pandemic agreement.

While the term is not explicitly used by the WHO, they include abortion in their understanding of the term “sexual reproductive health and rights.” Under the WHO’s overview of sexual reproductive health and rights, they state that, “we can foster societies where all people can express their sexuality safely, positively and with dignity, including the inalienable right for people to decide if, how and when to have children.”

Regardless of the exact wording included, we can know that the pandemic agreement is being crafted by an organization that is aligning itself with the global expansion of abortion. The WHO has celebrated its “cooperation” to advance “sexual and reproductive health and rights,” and more recently proposed entering into “official relations” with the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), a radical pro-abortion advocacy group. While this move is pending due to conservative member state pushback, the executive session of the WHA scheduled to meet June 3-4 will take it up next week. The WHO has also reportedly worked with CRR in the past.

Also of note is the continual affirmation of the One China Policy by various member nations during this meeting. Multiple country delegates expressed support for the One China Policy, where Taiwan would be considered part of China. Before the start of the WHA77 Taiwan’s request for observer status was rejected for the eighth time since 2017. The delegate from China speaking in an earlier meeting stated that Taiwan’s rejected observer status “shows the unquestionable support for the One China Policy and [is] supported by the international community.” Furthermore, in response to the protests to Taiwan’s exclusion in the WHA77, the Chinese delegate said, “Any attempt to engage with Taiwan and political maneuvering with Taiwan is doomed to fail and is counter to the One China Policy.”

While many nations have come out in support of the meaningful participation of Taiwan in the WHA77 (including the United States), the repeated support for the One China Policy by other member states reveals the influence of China in this assembly. It also raises concerns surrounding Taiwan’s sovereignty as the communist regime continues to isolate Taiwan on the international stage.

Mikaela McLean serves as an intern at Family Research Council.