(WOMENSENEWS)–Right-wing Christian organizations in the United States have strengthened ties with a bloc of more than 50 moderate and conservative Islamic nations, including Iraq and Iran, to limit abortion rights, according to the Washington Post.

The Bush administration, which has criticized some of those countries for nurturing terrorists, has added its support to the alliance by appointing several anti-abortion activists to high positions in U.N. delegations on global economic and social policy, the paper reported June 17. Last month U.S. officials, in alliance with the conservative religious coalition, blocked a European- and Latin American-led initiative to include a reference to “reproductive health-care services” in a U.N. declaration on the rights of children. The conservative coalition believed that phrase could be used to promote abortion.

“The Republican administration is so clear in defending the family values,” said Mokhtar Lamani, a Moroccan diplomat who represents the 53-nation Organization of Islamic Conferences at the United Nations. “The main issue that brings us all together is defending the family values, the natural family,” he told the Washington Post.

An unidentified U.S. official added, “We have tried to point out there are some areas of agreement between (us) and a lot of Islamic countries on these social issues.”

Critics, such as the pro-choice International Women’s Health Coalition, say the Bush administration’s alliance with hard-line Islamic nations is troublesome.

“The alliance shows the ‘depths of perversity’ of the U.S. position,” Adrienne Germain, president of the women’s health organization, told the paper. “On the one hand we’re presumably blaming these countries for unspeakable acts of terrorism and at the same time we are allying ourselves with them in the oppression of women.”

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Also see Women’s Enews, May 20, 2002:
“U.S. Tells Teen Girls Worldwide to Just Say No”: