As the UN and Member States around the world work to address the pandemic of COVID-19, I urge you, your staff, and the UN’s funds, programs, and specialized and technical agencies to stay focused on life-saving interventions. The delivery of essential health care is the first priority around the globe during this time. In addition, severe food shortages could represent a second, deadly impact of the pandemic in many countries. The UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan (Global HRP), and its $6.71 billion coordinated appeal, must remain focused on addressing the most urgent, concrete needs that are arising out of the pandemic.
Therefore, the UN should not use this crisis as an opportunity to advance access to abortion as an “essential service.”