COVID-19: UN criticised for promoting abortion as an ‘essential service’

A senior US official has criticised the United Nations for using the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to promote abortion as an ‘essential service’.

John Barsa, head of the US Agency for International Development, told the UN to remove all references to “sexual and reproductive health” in its Global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19 (HRP).

Barsa said: “Most egregious is that the Global HRP calls for the widespread distribution of abortion-inducing drugs and abortion supplies, and for the promotion of abortion in local country settings.”


The official criticised the UN for “cynically placing the provision of ‘sexual and reproductive health services’ on the same level of importance as food-insecurity, essential health care, malnutrition, shelter, and sanitation”.

He said that the UN should not “intimidate or coerce Member States that are committed to the right to life” and use the pandemic “as a justification to pressure governments to change their laws”.

Barsa called on the organisation to “address the real needs of vulnerable people around the world” and “drop the provision of abortion as an essential component of the UN’s priorities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”


In April, abortion activists were criticised for claiming that abortion should be classed as a public health issue during the coronavirus pandemic.

The CEO of abortion giant Marie Stopes International claimed it would be “immensely helpful as it would help countries to see abortion from a public health perspective”.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) called it “a repulsive but predictable attempt to use a global pandemic to further their anti-life, pro-abortion agenda”.