Statement of the Holy See in Explanation of Position
on the General
“Supporting efforts to end obstetric
Third Committee of the
65th session of the UN General Assembly
New York, 9 November
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
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
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.