Abortions Anonymous, for Kids: Memo Reveals Group's 'Priority'

By Patrick Goodenough | July 7, 2008 | 8:04 PM EDT

Pacific Rim Bureau (CNSNews.com) - A pro-life group wants the world to know about the strategies of an abortion rights group, including the strategy involving children.

The New York-based Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) announced last Friday that it had obtained copies of internal memos generated by the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Those memos, which revealed CRR's agenda for promoting abortion worldwide, are now part of the Congressional Record.

Arguably one of the most controversial aspects of the strategies outlined in the CRR memos deals with children -- or, in the words of the document, "a project to secure the fundamental right of minors to access all reproductive health services confidentially."

This is described as one of CRR's "priority areas."

"We are seeing the antis push hard to diminish minors' rights, so we should see what we can come up with to push hard back," said a summary of a report by a CRR campaigns sub-group.

But it notes there are difficulties, including "growing opposition amongst minors to abortion and [to] being pro-choice."

On its Internet website, CRR reveals its concerns about the fact that minors need parental consent for abortions.

It says, "43 U.S. states have adopted laws that require a young woman to notify or obtain the consent of one or both parents before she can obtain an abortion. These laws force many young women to obtain illegal or unsafe abortions, carry unwanted pregnancies to term, or travel long distances to states without parental consent requirements."

Elsewhere on the site, it reports that CRR may launch a national lawsuit in Zimbabwe to challenge the parental consent requirements contained in that country's legislation.

The CRR's vision of "adolescent autonomy" may already be moving closer in some parts of the world.

The official Xinhua news agency in China reported recently that "pregnant girls can now obtain legal abortions anonymously" in Beijing.

Xinhua said a "maternal and child care service center" had been set up to provide youngsters with abortions, as well as information on contraception methods and sexual health.

In New Zealand, meanwhile, the center-left government has introduced legislation that will allow a girl as young as 11 to have an abortion without her parents' knowledge.

Critics note that abortions will be the only medical procedure for New Zealand children that will be exempt from parental consent, and one opponent told a parliamentary committee meeting the provision constituted "a form of child abuse."

The CRR, formerly known as the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, describes itself as "a non-profit legal advocacy organization dedicated to promoting and defending women's reproductive rights worldwide."

Its major funders include the Hewlett Foundation, the Packard Foundation, and the Open Society Institute, headed by billionaire and anti-Bush activist George Soros.

CRR has not responded to queries emailed by CNSNews.com.

Thomas Jacobson, a Focus on the Family representative at the United Nations, called release of the CRR memos "a coup."

"Now what is being done in the dark is being brought to the light, just as it should be in the area of policy," an item on the pro-family organization's website quoted him as saying.

Also see:
Memos Outlining Abortion Strategy Land in Congressional Record (12 Dec. 2003)

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Patrick Goodenough
Patrick Goodenough
Spencer Journalism Fellow