Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York, defended the rights of unborn children in a statement to Third Committee of the UNGA during discussion of Promotion and protection of the rights of children.

Archbishop Caccia said that the promotion and the protection of the rights of the child “cannot be separated from measures to support and strengthen the family, since the ‘family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State,’ as also recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Therefore, any discussion of the rights of the children must be linked to the family.”

The archbishop described how a society that promotes the protection of the child promotes the well-being of the family explaining how a child’s development, sense of identity and belonging, health, education and success in adulthood are closely linked to the resources that families have at their disposal and urged policy makers to provide programs “that support and complement mothers and fathers, rather than replace them.”


Quoting the preamble of the Convention on the Rights of the Child—The child needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth— Archbishop Caccia described the current medical environment where life-saving treatment can be provided to pre-born children but then abortion is used to end the lives of some 73 million of pro-born children annually, including girls whose lives are ended once identified through prenatal sex selection and eugenic abortion which victimizes children with disabilities.

Archbishop Caccia lamented assisted reproduction, particularly surrogacy, which he said “reduces the child to a mere object to be used to satisfy the wishes of adults rather than a gift to be welcomed and cherished. These practices are incompatible with respect for the dignity and rights of the child.” He declared, “A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift,” stating each of whom deserves to be cherished, nurtured, and protected from his or her earliest moments with the “special care and assistance” due to childhood concluding, “With this as a firm foundation, we can achieve respect for the dignity and rights of each and every child.” Note:  Marie Smith is the director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues.

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