UNICEF And Abortion
Sir, - Let me state categorically that UNICEF does not now or never has supported, promoted or encouraged abortion as claimed by Dr Gerry Molloy (August 2nd).
I am quoted in the letter from the coverage surrounding the 1997 Progress of Nations Report, which confirms that over 60 million girls/women are missing from the world's population as a result of abortion, abuse and murder throughout the world. This is the context in which I said "that to be born female is to be born high risk"!
UNICEF's mandate for over 50 years has been to ensure the survival, protection and development of children and women worldwide. Our work in over 140 countries remains committed to providing health-care for women to ensure that they have healthy pregnancies, safe deliveries, resulting in live births, something we take so for granted in Ireland. We continue to ensure that babies and children survive childhood through immunisation, clean water and sanitation and the provision of basic health care. Much of our resources are spent on education, which we believe is the way forward from exploitation and abuse.
UNICEF is committed to all this and to highlighting and working to ensure that children are not sexually exploited, are not exploited by child labour and will continue to draw attention to and meet the needs of children and women around the world. - Yours, etc.,
Executive Director, Irish National Committee for UNICEF, Dublin 2.