help promote the abstinence-only curriculum. Focus
claims to have reached 1 million teens worldwide
with No Apologies.10 Collectively, conservative
anti-abortion groups bring such international expe-
rience to their work at the UN.
Christian Right, Old Right
and the UN
ome of the anti-choice NGOs that are gravitating
to the UN have been influenced in their views on
that international body by the Old Right, which
looks on the UN as a dangerous One World
Government.11 According to these critics, the UN is
a global government that threatens Americas free-
doms and its very sovereignty, requiring the United
States to participate in, and pay for, programs that
they see its people do not support.
Despite the fact that the United States wields
great power at the UN through a variety of mecha-
nisms, critics such as Jesse Helms, Phyllis Schlafly,
and John Ashcroft continue to claim the UN weak-
ens American power abroad. For instance, in 1997
Schlaflys Eagle Forum produced a video, Global
Governance, the Quiet War Against American
Independence, which takes aim at UN treaties,
conferences and resolutions. Using the 1989 UN
Convention on the Rights of the Child as an exam-
ple, Schlafly claims, [T]hese treaties involve setting
up a new global bureaucracy that would have some
kind of obnoxious control over American citizens.
Christian Right popular culture can sometimes
mirror anti-UN sentiment. For example, the Anti-
Christ in Christian conservative Tim LaHayes best-
selling Left Behind series of novels is a former
Secretary General of the UN.
Despite their skepticism about the UN as an
institution, over the past five years socially conser-
vative groups at the UN have grown in number. This
flocking to the UN appears to be, in part, a response
to the influence and achievements of progressive
womens groups with official NGO status.
Conservative NGOs are increasingly engaging in
more aggressive and disruptive diplomacy by secur-
ing spots on official delegations or as special
guests, with delegations from the United States and
some Latin American countries. These guests even
conduct their own wildcard diplomacy, as Rep.
Smith has demonstrated. Their engagement with the
United Nations does not signal a newfound respect
for that body among Christian Right groups.
Rather, conservative NGOs have made the pragmat-
ic decision to take the fight against reproductive
freedom into the den of their perceived enemy.
A Trojan Horse in the Global Battle
against Reproductive Freedom
y signing on as NGOs, U.S. anti-abortion groups
purport to offer up their expertise to the UN.
However, many of the conservative NGOs identified
in this report hold critical, even disdainful, opinions
of UN programs and of the institution itself.
Steven Mosher, president of the HLI-supported
Population Research Institute, has called the UN-ini-
tiated Global Fund for AIDS the global fund for
abortion, prostitution and the homosexual agen-
da.12 Susan Roylance, a founder of United Families
International, explains that it is the dangerous threat
of the UN, and not its legitimacy as an international
body, that compels the Christian Rights engagement:
I do not believe family policies should be
formulated in the international arena
must become involved to protect our fami-
lies from those who would re-engineer
the social structures of the world.13
Although her organization works at the UN, a
spokesperson for the Beverly LaHaye Institute at
Concerned Women for America rides the wave of
recent criticism of the UNs inefficiencies when
Sincere women of faith within the mainline
churches are being duped into thinking that
by endorsing the UN they are helping the
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
10James Dobson, Good News Regarding Families Around the World, http://www.family.org/docstudy/newsletters/a0037280.cfm.
11The last heyday of the Old Right peaked during the Cold War, with the growth of isolationist organizations like the anti-Communist John Birch
12Steven Mosher, Weekly Briefing, February 21, 2003, http://www.pop.org/main.cfm?EID=444.
13Susan Roylance, Pro-Family Negotiating Guide, (Gilbert, Ariz: United Families International, 2001) v.