Did you know that December 10th is International Human Rights Day?

What’s that?

The United Nations’ (UN) Human Rights Day is annually observed December 10 to mark the anniversary of the presentation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The one continually being relativized and corrupted by agencies within the UN, as they export abortion and contraception across the globe, and under the cause of ‘reproductive rights’ push the sexualization of young girls. Like this USAid effort.

The US Agency for International Development announced on World Contraception Day a partnership with international donors to distribute Jadelle, a second-generation of Norplant, to poor women in developing countries. The contraceptive is not distributed for use in more affluent countries.

Jadelle was developed by the Population Council, a group known for its eugenics roots. “Eugenic goals are most likely to be achieved under another name than eugenics,” wrote Frederick Osborn, the first president of Population Council, founded by John D. Rockefeller III in the 1950’s.

Jadelle, a trade name for Norplant II, prevents pregnancies by slowly releasing levonorgestrel (a known abortifacient) through two tube-like rods that are inserted under the skin of the upper arm, thus inhibiting ovulation, thickening cervical mucus, and altering the lining of the uterus.

The WHO-approved implant lasts up to 5 years and is said to be reversible. Promoters of Jadelle compare its efficacy to that of surgical sterilization.

Studies found about 19 out of every 100 women discontinued use of Jadelle because of bleeding problems. About 65% of users reported bleeding irregularities, and 6.2% reported problems when having the rods removed.
Distributing long-term contraceptives to poor women in developing countries was a goal of the recent London Family Planning Summit sponsored by the Gates Foundation and the UK government and held on the 100th anniversary of the first international eugenics conference in London. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) renewed its commitment to family planning at the Summit, specifically to long-term contraceptive methods.

This new initiative is a joint effort with the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and the governments of Norway, UK, Sweden, and the U.S.

Bayer HealthCare, the German pharmaceutical company that produces the contraceptive, agreed to reduce the cost of Jadelle by fifty percent – to $18 dollars – in exchange for a guaranteed six-year contract that includes “funding for at least 27 million contraceptive devices.”

The FDA approved use of Norplant I in the U.S. in 1990 but distribution ceased in 2002 due to widespread complaints of side effects and lawsuits filed by over 50,000 women. USAID’s contract with the manufacturer of Norplant, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, continued until 2006.

While the FDA approved Jadelle in 1996 it has yet to be distributed in the United States, implying a different standard for women in developing countries. A closer look at the Population Council website discloses potential risks in using Jadelle and the lack of significant studies with research limited to just 5 years post use.

Known side effects are irregular bleeding, ovarian cysts, blood clots, possible increased risk of gall bladder disease and an increased risk of cancer at the implant site from having a “foreign-body intrusion[s].”

That’s only one story from one agency within the UN, and there are many.

So it’s a good time to go back to two addresses to the UN General Assembly by two popes profoundly concerned about humanism that reflect on what that original Declaration proclaimed. Most recently, Pope Benedict.

The New York Times reported that the pope “presented the idea that there are universal values that transcend the diversity – cultural, ethnic or ideological – embodied in an institution like the United Nations…Those values are at the base of human rights, he said, as they are for religion.”

The Times and others also noted Benedict’s message that religion can’t be excluded from a body that exists for “a social order respectful of the dignity and rights of the person” and that a “vision of life firmly anchored in the religious dimension can help achieve this.” Furthermore: “Recognition of the transcendent value of every man and woman favors conversion of heart, which then leads to a commitment to resist violence, terrorism, war, and to promote justice and peace.” This snip made it into most major media, many of which carried the Pope’s full transcript.

What most of them missed was the deeper message of the Pope’s elegant words. His opening remarks were in French, the language of the United Nations. By the second paragraph, he made an affirmation: “The United Nations embodies the aspiration for a ‘greater degree of international ordering’…inspired and governed by the principle of subsidiarity, and therefore capable of responding to the demands of the human family through binding international rules…” And then he made a challenge: “This is all the more necessary at a time when we experience the obvious paradox of a multilateral consensus that continues to be in crisis because it is still subordinated to the decisions of a few, whereas the world’s problems call for interventions in the form of collective action by the international community.” The phrase “decisions of a few” is key to that thought, and he returns to it later…

“Recognition of the unity of the human family, and attention to the innate dignity of every man and woman, today find renewed emphasis in the principle of the responsibility to protect.”

That phrase grabbed the media spotlight as well, because of the pope’s attention to violations of rights and humanitarian crises. What they missed was the wider application to all humans and the sanctity of life. About the UN’s “responsibility to protect”, Benedict said “this principle has to invoke the idea of the person as image of the Creator, the desire for the absolute and the essence of freedom.”

The UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights “was the outcome of a convergence of different religious and cultural traditions, all of them motivated by the common desire to place the human person at the heart of institutions, laws and the workings of society, and to consider the human person essential for the world of culture, religion and science.”

However: “Human rights are increasingly being presented as the common language and the ethical substratum of international relations.” That key line was lost on the mainstream media, especially since this was still the opening remarks in French. It was followed by this: “It is evident, though, that the rights recognized and expounded in the Declaration apply to everyone by virtue of the common origin of the person, who remains the high-point of God’s creative design for the world and for history. They are based on the natural law inscribed on human hearts and present in different cultures and civilizations.”

And this eloquent address, to this point, was all still in the introductory remarks in French.

Benedict would only then begin the remainder of his address, in English. And he was only warming up to his challenge to protect the human family by promoting the sanctity of all life and the rights of every person. He referred to “competing rights” and the need to redouble efforts today “in the face of pressure to reinterpret the foundations of the Declaration” that compromise its intent and move it “away from the protection of human dignity towards the satisfaction of simple interests, often particular interests.” The UN Declaration of Human Rights, said Benedict, cannot be applied piecemeal “according to trends or selective choices” that actually compromise universal human rights.

Timeless truths need advocates and people need to hear them. Do something to support and promote the cause of true human rights.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....