What does the UN think about abortion?

By: James Pen


Abortion is one of those topics which have been debated since time immemorial. Whether it is good or bad and whether women need to undergo abortion still remains a question to be answered. Many countries prevent abortion even now. While that might help in many ways, some times the health of the woman itself is in danger. At those times, abortion can be the only way to ensure the safety of the woman.
So, when should women undergo abortion?
In reality, it all depends on the situation the woman and her baby find themselves in. Abortion may be the best way out if the situation is too critical. However, it many countries this can also be a virtual bane as couples abort their child when they come to know it’s a girl. This has made the problem of female foeticide a lingering one.
So, what does the United Nations think about this?
The United Nations has taken a rather liberal view on the concept of abortion. In The Hague Forum of the United Nations, held from 8th-12th February, 1999, it was declared that Abortion shall be construed as a Universal Right, and an enforced pregnancy shall be considered to be an international crime. It was also ratified by the 177 member nations of the UN.
It can be very well seen that the UN has taken a way which aims at protecting the women from unnecessary and enforced pregnancies. In another report by the UN published in February 2014, the UN Secretariat had urged its member countries to remove “unnecessary” restrictions on abortions. It has also been told to the member states to legalise abortion in their territories. According to the reports, the UN has forwarded its view saying that if abortion is made illegal, it would be unfair to the women who desperately wants to stop their pregnancies.
According to the UN statistics, imposing harsh restrictions on abortions has only resulted into more and more women wanting to stop their pregnancies. They resort to illegal means which, in turn, result into preventable deaths. Unsafe abortions take away the lives of about 47,000 women every year world over. Especially, the girls and women from the underdeveloped nations find themselves under a lot of risk.
In many ways, the United Nations has strived to make abortion a legal universal right for everyone, by relating to the Right to Health. However, as a harsh reality, only 50% of the countries have actually taken steps to provide safe abortion facilities to women and have actually made the laws liberal in order to favour them.

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