Encourage Women’s Reproductive Rights at United Nations Conference

Target: United Nations

Goal: Stop Catholic Church from deleting language for women’s reproductive rights in United Nations document

Since 1992, when the United Nations held its Conference on Environment and Development, the Holy See (diplomatic entity of the Roman Catholic Church) has sought to put women’s reproductive rights into retrograde. The document published from that conference called for health services to “include women-centered, women-managed, safe and effective reproductive health care and affordable, accessible services, as appropriate, for the responsible planning of family size.” The See did not succeed in striking this statement from the Declaration, but twenty years later, they are taking up the fight again.

Heads of state from around the world are currently meeting at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro. A similar document will be published and signed at the conference’s end. The conference, dubbed the Rio+20, has named seven priority areas among its focus for sustainable development: “decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security, and seasonable agriculture, water, oceans, and disaster readiness.”

Because the UN is a democratic body, the Holy See does maintain an arm of power within its jurisdiction. They will use this power to extend dogmatic Catholic practices to world policies for sustainable environment practices. In the language of an archbishop, the Holy See demands that “objective moral formation” be considered in international policy. This is a seemingly innocent (and religiously righteous) way of begging for religious governance over human conduct, including the bodily decisions of women.

The Roman Catholic Church’s fight to deny the reproductive rights of women around the world is, in fact, poised against human well-being and in opposition to the stance of most UN Member States. Sign below to encourage the United Nations’ leaders to retain the reproductive rights of women that will help us to create a more verdant and just society.


Dear Rio+20 Secretariat,

As the public whom you are drafting policy for, we are concerned about the agenda of UN Observer State Holy See. Throughout the UN’s meetings for sustainable development, they have made a persistent push for the retraction of women’s reproductive rights, citing “objective moral formation.”

While we understand the democratic body’s necessity of listening to each of its member’s perspectives, it is clear that the Holy See’s directive is not aimed toward the health and well-being of a sustainable Earth, but closer to Catholic dogma.

Please continue to advance provisions for women to be empowered to seek and receive the best possible information, education, and care regarding their bodies and reproductive possibilities.


[Your Name Here]

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89 Signatures

  • Lynn Juozilaitis
  • Ann Blank
  • Eveline Mutsaerts
  • tam O
  • Mary-Carol Gales
  • Debbie Biere
  • Carole Mathews
  • Amy Wilson
  • Amy McKeon
  • Janet Delaney
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