• The Holy See has told the United Nations that abortion should not be considered part of the term ‘sexual and reproductive health’ and that ‘gender’ means only biological sexual identity and difference.

    Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN in Geneva, made the remarks during a meeting on a UN resolution for coordinating humanitarian assistance.

    He said the Holy See regrets the inclusion of several abortion methods, especially the “vacuum extractor”, in a resolution entitled “Strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations”.

    Archbishop Jurkovič said the Holy See insists “insist that healthcare services must never be intended – or operate – against the life of the most defenseless or the unborn. The application of the right to life must never discriminate based on the various stages of life.”

    “Although we acknowledge the particular risks that women and children face in humanitarian emergencies contexts and their specific and integral needs regarding access to basic healthcare, essential obstetric services, sanitary and food security, we cannot accept as an appropriate solution those services that provide and/or promote abortion,” he continued.

    Archbishop Jurkovič also clarified the Vatican’s position on two points regarding abortion and gender identity. He said:

    1. The Holy See does not consider abortion, access to abortion, or access to abortifacients as a dimension of the terms “sexual and reproductive health” and “sexual and reproductive healthcare services”.

    2. With reference to “gender”, the Holy See understands the term to be grounded in biological sexual identity and difference. We kindly ask that the text of this statement be included on the official records of this meeting.

    Source: Vatican Radio