One Night in Bangkok
In a triumph for population-control efforts and another sign that the U.S. is out of step with international policy trends, Asia-Pacific countries yesterday rejected the Bush administration’s stand against abortion and condom use among teens. The vote came during a U.N.-sponsored Asian and Pacific Population Conference, held this week in Bangkok, which concluded with the adoption of an action plan on population policies for the region. U.S. delegates objected to some of the wording of the plan, including references to “reproductive health services” and “reproductive rights,” saying the phrases could be interpreted as advocating abortion and underage sex. Delegates from other nations easily overruled the U.S. constituency. The final text contains the controversial phrases, and proposes curbing population growth by fighting poverty through 12 different tactics, including increasing family planning options, working toward greater gender equity, and combating HIV/AIDS.