Not   so,   says   Luisa   Cabal,   Director   of   the International   Legal   Program   at   the   Center   for Reproductive Rights, one of the groups that brought the case before the Committee. We are thrilled that the UNHRC has ruled in favor of protecting women’s most essen- tial human rights. Every woman who lives in any of the 154 countries that are party to this treaty—including the U.S.—now has a legal  tool  to  use  in  defense  of  her  rights. This ruling establishes that it is not enough to just grant a right on paper. Where abor- tion   is   legal   it   is   governments’   duty   to ensure that women have access to it.38 Progressive   advocacy   groups   such   as   Sexual Information  and  Education  Council  of  the  United States,  Human  Rights  Watch,  Catholics  for  a  Free Choice,   and   International   Planned   Parenthood Federation   conscientiously   monitor   conservative trends.39 Several U.S.-based women’s groups partici- pate in international networks like the International Women’s Health Coalition, founded in 1984, which calls for a broad platform of reproductive justice for all women.40 These networks have become skilled in anticipating and confronting conservative tactics. An  appeal  to  basic  human  rights  for  women exposes some fundamental differences between the international human rights community and the U.S. Christian  Right.  Increasingly,  women’s  health  and human rights groups are recognizing their common- alities and now frame women’s access to health serv- ices  as  a  human  right.    In  contrast,  conservative NGOs,   representing   U.S.-based   Christian   Right groups,  seek  to  reinforce  traditional  gender  roles, restrict  women’s  access  to  abortion  services,  and deny  whole  populations  accurate  sexuality  educa- tion. These restrictions could be seen as problemat- ic in a human rights framework. The   current   UN   agenda,   articulated   in   its Millennium   Development   Goals,   focuses   on   the pressing social needs of our time, such as the eradi- cation of childhood poverty and the control of deadly infectious disease. Anti-choice NGOs have a much more  narrow  and  controversial  set  of  issues  that may be incompatible with the UN goals. Their posi- tions  reflect  a  desire  for  control  over  women  and children’s lives and the belief that their set of values is applicable everywhere in the world. These issues move their leaders to call for the defunding of such well-respected programs as UNICEF or to insist that the United States not ratify CEDAW, the Convention on  the  Elimination  of  all  forms  of  Discrimination Against Women. Despite  criticism  from  the  United  States,  the United  Nations  remains  an  institution  for  global cooperation  that  reflects  the  views  of  its  member states.  The  United  Nations  continues  to  maintain programs  improving  women  and  children’s  health and welfare across the globe. Conclusion I n   recent   years   conservative,   anti-choice   NGOs from  the  United  States  have  been  targeting  the United  Nations  with  increased  vigor.  Such  groups have entered the UN system with big goals, seeking to  alter  the  direction  and  outcomes  of  decisions affecting   reproductive   justice   and   human   rights. They have tried to impose a narrow moral frame for sexuality on the world at large and have made sub- stantial progress towards the goal of making “pro- family” and “pro-life” household words across the globe. They are challenging the UN’s commitment to necessary  comprehensive  health  education  for  girls and access to vital reproductive services for women the world over. What  have  conservative  NGOs  accomplished? Although these groups continue to claim victory in a number of areas, their major scuffles have mostly taken place over the wording of documents. There has been some success in limiting U.S. funds for UN- related programs, especially around issues of sexual- ity, but the real clout for these changes likely came from the Bush Administration itself. UNd o i n g   R e p r o d u c t i v e   Fr e e d o m  Christian Right NGOs Target the United Nations POLITICAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATES   2006 11 38“UN Human Rights Committee Makes Landmark Decision Establishing Women’s Right to Access legal Abortion,” Press release, November 17, 2005, Center for Reproductive Rights. 39“For Faith and Family,” 1-17 and “New Sheriff in Town,” 14-22. Butler observed the emergence of an interfaith coalition of conservative nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) involving Roman Catholics, Protestants, and Mormons and including outreach to Jews and Muslims. 40For a definition of reproductive justice, see “A New Vision for Advancing our Movement for Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Justice,” at