Ten years after a landmark U.N. conference adopted a platform aimed at global equality for women, the United States is demanding that a follow-up meeting make clear women are not guaranteed a right to abortion.
The high-level U.N. meeting attended Monday by more than 100 countries and 6,000 advocates for women's causes is taking stock of what countries have done to implement the 150-page platform of action adopted at the 1995 U.N. women's conference in Beijing to achieve equality of the sexes.
But in informal consultations ahead of the meeting, the United States raised the abortion issue as a first order of business.
The U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, which organized the meeting, had hoped the two-week session would focus on overcoming the roadblocks to women's equality in 12 areas from health, education and employment to political participation and human rights. But the dispute over abortion is likely to dominate the gathering.