Family Planning Orgs. Question Vatican's U.N. Status
Family planning organizations argue that the Vatican's recent proclamation condemning the distribution of emergency contraception to Kosovan rape victims was reprehensible and demand a review of the Vatican's status at the U.N.
International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and other family planning organizations caring for Kosovan refugee women who have been raped by Serbian troops called the Vatican "indifferent to human suffering." Vatican officials claimed that Kosovan rape victims were not in a position to consent to taking emergency contraceptive pills and instead advocated counselling and other medical care.
IPPF Director-General Ingar Brueggemann explained, "There is a movement to ask for the Vatican's position as a state within the U.N. to be reviewed. No one would deny that it should have a status as many of the other religious organizations have within the U.N. but as a non-governmental organization." Currently, the Vatican has "observer status" within the U.N., which basically means that Vatican officials can attend U.N. meetings but cannot vote.
The Vatican has consistently opposed the allocation of funds for family planning, given its opposition to birth control and abortion.
Media Resources: BBC - May 12, 1999