The Bush administration indicated last week that it might withdraw its support from a landmark international agreement on population over concerns that it promotes abortion. At a U.N. meeting last Thursday in Bangkok, Thailand, U.S. State Department official Louise Oliver said the 1994 Cairo accord included terms such as “reproductive services” and “reproductive health care” that imply the right to abortion. Supporters of the accord were shocked by the development and said the withdrawal of U.S. support would undermine the entire international effort to control population growth and improve women’s health care in developing nations. Francoise Girard of the International Women’s Health Coalition said the move by the U.S. “contradicts their stated support for women’s rights around the world.” The Cairo accord has been endorsed by 179 nations.
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