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


WHO OKs Partnership with Radical Abortion/Transgender Activist Lobbyists

June 6, 2024

Just days after claiming power to shape all nations’ health policies, the World Health Organization (WHO) partnered with a radical left-wing group that considers abortion and transgender surgeries a fundamental human right for minors, but says Christian health care providers must be forced to take part in both procedures.

The World Health Organization’s Executive Board voted to bestow “official relations” on the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), an international abortion law firm and lobbying group funded by numerous far-left billionaires including George Soros. After multiple rounds of voting, WHO finally approved CRR’s petition for partnership by a secret ballot vote of 17-13 on Tuesday. CRR has waged legal warfare around the globe to overturn pro-life protections for the unborn, attempted to assert a worldwide “right” to abortion-on-demand and transgender procedures, denied religious conscience protections, and insisted children have the right to have an abortion without parental notification.

The new arrangement allows CRR to work on a three-year “plan for collaboration” with WHO on their “agreed objectives.” The two controversial groups worked together when WHO drew up its March 2022 “abortion care guideline” relying in part on the advice of “human rights adviser” Christina Zampas of CRR. The document notes that “comprehensive abortion care” is on WHO’s “list of essential health services.”

WHO drew up the new abortion guideline after receiving a $100 million grant from billionaire Warren Buffett’s Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation. Buffett’s dedication to using tax-exempt “philanthropic” funds to bankroll abortion activists has benefited CRR, which received a $5 million grant from Buffett’s foundation in 2020 alone.

CRR also received part of the $1 billion Melinda Gates, the ex-wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, promised to give abortion activists over the next two years. CRR has “played a critical role in securing victories for abortion” in the past, says the website of Pivotal Ventures, the philanthropic organization founded by Melinda Gates. CRR’s chief communications officer, Joung-ah Ghedini-Williams, called the donation “so wonderful,” since she feels the threat of pro-life laws is “not necessarily being reflected in donations.”

The group’s global litigation strategy has weakened or repealed pro-life protections in 65 countries, and CRR currently represents 50 people suing to overturn pro-life protections.

CRR represented Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the losing party in the Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs decision which overturned Roe v. Wade. President Joe Biden named the CRR attorney in the case, Julie Rikelman, to the First Circuit Court of Appeals in 2023.

The group’s pro-abortion orientation will fit well with WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. In the lead-up to the vote on bestowing WHO recognition on CRR, Ghebreyesus called the parliament of his native Ethiopia “courageous” for weakening its protections of the unborn.

CRR invoked international human rights statements to condemn a Trump-era federal rule allowing Christian medical providers to refusal to participate in abortions or transgender procedures. CRR claimed Christians are only averse to carrying out both procedures due to “abortion stigma and personal bias.” Trump’s conscience protections “ran counter to international human rights law,” CRR asserted.

CRR’s other pro-LGBTQ advocacy includes an attempt to qualify same-sex couples for taxpayer-funded in vitro fertilization (IVF) benefits. Its legal scholars claimed that homosexual practices, which by nature cannot produce a child, constitute “social infertility,” qualifying couples for IVF benefits intended for biologically infertile couples.

“The purpose of the CRR strategy is to establish controversial social policies as obligations under customary international law without scrutiny or political debate,” notes the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (CFAM).

The proposal for the global governance body to collaborate with the abortion lobby caused an uprising this weekend at WHO. Opposition to CRR’s petition was led by Russia, the 47-member WHO African Group, and the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

“We firmly stand against the introduction of official relations with the Center for Reproductive Rights due to the controversial concepts they promote,” explained the delegate from Egypt before the vote. He promised to join Russia and other nations as they “escalate” the question of WHO’s alliance with CRR to the World Health Assembly when it next meets in July.

“Socially conservative states don’t want to have abortion pushed on their people. They know that the Center for Reproductive Rights is an incredibly pro-abortion advocacy group, and what it would mean for that group to be in official relations with the WHO,” Travis Weber, vice president for Policy and Government Affairs at Family Research Council, told The Washington Stand.

On the other hand, Israel’s delegate supported WHO’s partnership with CRR, stating WHO would “regret the exclusion of important stakeholders” from the abortion debate. Thailand’s representative said including CRR would steer WHO toward “a more comprehensive approach in global health.” The delegate for the Netherlands claimed even “questioning the eligibility” of an organization after it meets the WHO Secretariat’s approval “undermines a great procedure and sets a harmful precedent.”

Dozens of pro-life human rights groups, including Family Research Council, warned that WHO’s newly-minted relationship with CRR could violate a provision of its Framework for Engagement with Non-State Actors which forbids the body from forming a relationship with any group that would “compromise WHO’s integrity, independence, credibility, and reputation” (WHA69.10, paragraph 5). CRR “routinely misrepresents the status of abortion in international treaties as well as other human rights issues” and “has repeatedly compromised scientific evidence in its advocacy materials,” the groups told Ghebreyesus.

The abortion-affirming vote came just days after WHO punted the adoption of a proposed WHO Pandemic Agreement into later this year or early next year after the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body could not agree to a finalized text. Delegates updated WHO’s International Health Regulations (IHRs), asking nations to crack down on “misinformation and disinformation” and placing “equity” on par with respecting “human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

Yet even the attempt to thwart the formation of a global pro-abortion alliance strengthened national sovereignty, Weber told TWS. “The pushback to the WHO’s move here has also helped highlight the truth that the will of individual sovereign states still matters — ironically, just days after a vote on new IHR amendments that diminish national autonomy — with the Netherlands observing about the vote on the pro-abortion CRR: ‘The national context prevails over WHO engagements with non-state actors.’”

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.