Monday, November 27, 2006

US legislators appeal to AI not to condone abortion

Seventy-three US lawmakers have sent a letter to Amnesty International USA calling on the organization to reject any moves to advocate abortion.

Publishing the letter, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Co-Chairman of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro Life Caucus, said:

“The killing of an unborn child by abortion can never be construed to be a human right. Therefore, taking a position that supports violence against children is antithetical to everything Amnesty International stands for. It is not possible for Amnesty to justify any position that condones abortion based on international human rights law while at the same time remain true to their principles.

Read the full text of the letter below.


Mr. Larry Cox

Executive Director

Amnesty International USA 5 Penn Plaza New York, NY 10001 fax: (212) 627-1451

Dear Mr. Cox:

As lawmakers, we believe we have a compelling individual and collective duty to protect the weak, disenfranchised, unwanted and vulnerable from violence and abuse.

The principles long held by Amnesty International embody values supported by persons from a broad spectrum of ideological, political and religious beliefs. That’s why we are proud to have made common cause with Amnesty International in promoting key human rights such as the rule of just law, respect for religious liberty, an end to torture, enhanced efforts to combat human trafficking, the protection for freedom of association and of the press, and the release of political prisoners.

Since 1961, you have made a difference for the good in the lives of many and in building a more just society. We write today, however, with great concern and alarm that the mission and reputation of Amnesty International is at risk. We are deeply concerned that Amnesty International may soon embrace a mandate regarding abortion that is antithetical to your—our—shared duty to protect. We respectfully ask that at a minimum you remain neutral on the issue of abortion. Better, of course, would be for you to join us in defending unborn children who we believe deserve better than abortion. The most elemental human right of all—the right to life for all includes unborn babies.

To in any way condone or support abortion which many of your supporters believe is actually a human rights abuse, would significantly undermine Amnesty’s reputation and effectiveness.

The issue of abortion incites strong convictions and any explicit or implied position in favor of abortion will thrust the organization into the heated debate on this topic. As you know, abortion has long divided our country, and current attempts by certain Western groups to introduce abortion as a legal right in the developing world are giving rise to justifiable indignation and resentment by the majority of the populations who live there and value the life of the unborn.

Amnesty International’s vision is one of a “world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.” It is not possible for Amnesty to justify any position that condones abortion based on international human rights law while at the same time objectively adhering to legal instruments and processes. No United Nations human rights treaty or convention recognizes a so-called right to – or even addresses the issue of – abortion.

We believe that the killing of an unborn child by abortion can never be construed to be a human right. Every child—born or unborn—deserves protection and to have his or her human rights secured and protected.

In recent years, modern medicine and scientific breakthroughs have shattered the myth that unborn children are not human persons or alive. Today, as you know, ultrasound technologies and other diagnostic tools have helped doctors to diagnose illness and disability before birth. New and exciting breakthrough health care interventions for the unborn—from intrauterine blood transfusions to microsurgeries—are leading to an ever expanding array of successful treatments and cures of sick or disabled unborn babies in need of help, rather than being subjected to painful administration of deadly chemicals or dismemberment.

Abortion methods either rip, tear and dismember or chemically poison the fragile bodies of unborn children to death. There is nothing whatsoever benign, compassionate or just about an act that utterly destroys the life of a baby. Attempts to justify abortion when a child is “unwanted” turns that baby into an object. No one’s life should be contingent on wantedness. Surely, Amnesty International—more than most—understands and is sensitive to the fact that violence is often given sanction by either demonizing or redefining the victim as a throwaway.

Abortion is both violence against children and the exploitation of women. We strongly believe women deserve better than abortion. Nonviolent, humane solutions need to be found for mothers in crisis or sexual abuse victims. Abortion solves nothing for them—it only adds another victim.

Consider the deleterious effects on women’s psychological and emotional health from abortions. A study in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry just this year demonstrated once again the devastating effect of abortion on women. According to researchers, Fergusson, Horwood and Ridder, women who had an “abortion had elevated rates of subsequent mental health problems including depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviours and substance use disorders.”

Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., has joined the coalition of women who regret their abortions and are “Silent No More.” They are speaking out against abortion as a the terrible injustice to women as well as children. In her words, “How can the ‘Dream’ survive if we murder the children?” Abortion is truly not a human right, but rather a terrible injustice against the weakest individuals.

With deep respect we ask that you in no way embrace or enable the demise of even one child. Retain your neutrality or join us in defending the most discriminated class of human beings on earth—unborn babies.


Monday, October 02, 2006

Online petition

Thanks to Ed for pointing out there's a new online petition urging Amnesty International to retain a neutral stance on abortion. There are several petitions out there at the moment; this one is aimed mainly at members of the US section and also calls for AIUSA to reverse a decision taken at this year's AGM.

Among some well-made points, the wording notes that it is not just people who would describe themselves as anti-abortion who object to the proposed moves, but people who support abortion also object because of the damaging consequences to AI as an organisation. You can sign the petition below:

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Dates for UK members

AIUK has announced some details of its consultation period. A somewhat biased explanatory paper was sent out with the latest edition of the organisation's magazine; in an apparent attempt to appear impartial the paper gave details of links to a couple of anti-abortion websites, but that was pretty much the extent of any concession towards even-handedness. (Interestingly, the main picture on the cover of the magazine was for the current, and now quite ironic, "Save the Human" campaign.)

There will be a questionnaire for members to complete, but that will apparently not be ready until the end of this month. In the meantime, the following dates have been given for regional consultation meetings, you have to book and some of them charge £5 or so. But if at all possible, please do attend. Anyone with any information about the consultation process in other sections, let me know and I'll post them here.


Monday, September 18, 2006

US bishops warn against tragic mistake

CATHOLIC Bishops in the US have become the latest group of bishops to come out and condemn proposals to advocate abortion.

The bishops have written to AI warning the organisation against making a "tragic mistake" by advocating abortion.

In a letter that pulls few punches (see full text given below), Bishop William Skylstad, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, writes:

"To abandon this long held position would be a tragic mistake, dividing human rights advocates and diverting Amnesty International from its central and urgent mission of defending human rights as outlined in the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights."

The bishops point out that abortion is not considered a right under International Law and that if AI made any moves to advocate abortion the organisation "would risk diminishing its own well-deserved moral credibility." They also warn that by engaging in the debate, AI places in jeopardy the rights of many other people by diverting people's attention away from other issues. They go on to say that "it would be ironic for Amnesty International, as an advocate for human rights, to now deny what various international bodies have supported—namely two parties with rights when it comes to birth and abortion."

Last month the Bishops of England and Wales also urged AI against reconsidering the current neutral position on abortion and Canadian bishops have also voiced their concerns (see previous posts).

More...All have warned that if the proposals are approved many Catholics would find it difficult to support the organisation in future.


September 12, 2006

Ms. Irene Khan Secretary General International Secretariat Amnesty International 1 Easton Street London WCIX ODW, United Kingdom

Dear Ms. Khan:

It is with a sense of great alarm that I write to you about the proposal by some within Amnesty International to abandon the organization’s traditional neutral stance on abortion, replacing it with an assertive policy of advocating abortion on demand as a “human right.” The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops believes a change in policy will erode the human rights of the most vulnerable members of the human family: unborn children. It will also jeopardize Amnesty International’s excellent record as a champion of human rights. To abandon this long held position would be a tragic mistake, dividing human rights advocates and diverting Amnesty International from its central and urgent mission of defending human rights as outlined in the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights.

For many years, the Catholic community here in the United States and elsewhere has admired and worked with Amnesty International in its efforts to advance the cause of universal human rights. Greater respect for human rights is one of the hard won achievements of humanity since World War II. Founded by a Catholic layman, Peter Benenson, Amnesty International has been a beacon of hope to thousands of prisoners of conscience, of abuse and torture and a source of inspiration to millions of supporters, including many Catholics who are Amnesty members. Much more urgent work remains, work which we believe will be harmed by this unprecedented and unnecessary involvement in the abortion debate.

We share Amnesty’s vision of a “world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.” Amnesty International and the Catholic Church have both been in the forefront of the struggle to promote the dignity of the human person and basic human rights. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has worked with Amnesty International over many years on a range of human rights concerns in our own nation, most recently in our common efforts to end the use of the death penalty in the United States. We have also taken up many issues of common concern internationally, ranging from anti-apartheid efforts in South Africa to opposition to the government-sanctioned death squads in Central America to more recent efforts to end the practice of torture by anyone under any circumstances in the struggle against terrorism.

Amnesty International should continue its tradition of focusing on often neglected human rights issues – issues that lack the visibility and advocacy which surround the abortion issue, but are widely acknowledged as legitimate human rights concerns among people of good will. As you know, abortion is not considered a human right in international law. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the recently adopted United Nations Declaration on Human Cloning uphold the principle of the dignity of the unborn child and the need for special protection for the unborn in the context of a concern for advancing human rights. It would be ironic for Amnesty International, as an advocate for human rights, to now deny what various international bodies have supported—namely two parties with rights when it comes to birth and abortion.

While the proposed action by Amnesty International may appear to some to support women’s freedom or provide a compassionate response to women who are in difficult situations of pregnancy, abortion injures the health and dignity of women at the same time that it ends the life of the unborn child. In the United States, our experience is that women oppose unrestricted abortion as strongly as men or more. These views are sometimes strongest of all among women who have undergone an abortion.

Violence to correct situations, even unjust ones, diminishes human dignity and the fabric of society. When the Second Vatican Council condemned violations of the dignity of the human person such as mutilation, torture and coercion of conscience, it began its list of human rights abuses with actions “opposed to life itself” such as abortion and euthanasia. The right to life itself is fundamental – it is “the right to have rights,” and its integrity depends on being

acknowledged in absolutely every member of the human family regardless of race, age or condition. This is no peculiarity of Catholic teaching, but an insight of the “natural law” tradition of human rights that has produced so many advances in upholding human dignity. Many of the great figures of our time in advancing human rights and compassion for the destitute – Susan B. Anthony, Mohandas Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Archbishop Oscar Romero, Dorothy Day, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Fannie Lou Hamer – also spoke out against abortion. Many will find it incomprehensible that these giants of human progress must now be seen as enemies of human rights.

A far more compassionate response is to provide support and services for pregnant women and to advance their educational and economic standing in society. The Catholic Church provides these services to many women around the world and commits itself to continuing to do so. The Catholic Church will also continue to advocate greater attention to these needs in all relevant international assemblies.

If Amnesty International were to advocate for abortion as a human right, it would risk diminishing its own well-deserved moral credibility. It certainly would most likely divide its own members, many of whom are Catholic, and others who defend the rights of unborn children. It could jeopardize Amnesty’s support by people in many nations, cultures and religions. The core values, commitments and leadership of Amnesty International for the protection of human rights are still greatly needed. We urge you to maintain the focus of Amnesty International’s work on behalf of human rights. Please do not dilute or divert its mission by adopting a position that many see as fundamentally incompatible with a full commitment to human rights and that will deeply divide those working to defend human rights.

Thank you for your attention to our perspective and concerns.

Sincerely yours,

Most Reverend William S. Skylstad Bishop of Spokane President

cc Rick Halperin, Chair, Board of Directors, AIUSA Larry Cox, Executive Director, AIUSA Curt Goering, Senior Deputy Executive Director, Policy and Programs, AIUSA Julie Hertzog, Senior Deputy Executive Director, Operations, AIUSA

Bishop blasts AI for "gross betrayal" and "height of stupidity"

A CANADIAN BISHOP has said that plans for AI to advocate abortion is "an ill-conceived proposal and a gross betrayal of Amnesty's mission to campaign for human rights."

Bishop Fred HenryWriting in the Calgary Sun and posting on the Western Catholic Reporter's website, Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary also said that the argument being proposed that a pro-abortion stance would go some way to stopping violence against women is the "height of stupidity".

In his article Bishop Henry rehearses many of the arguments already outlined in previous posts, notably that the move would contravene Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that any move would severely damage the reputation and standing of AI.

In July the Canadian bishops condemned AI's proposals and warned that "it would be a step backwards for an organization that has done such outstanding work in defending human life and the rights of the most vulnerable."

Bishop Henry was one of the first bishops in Canada to speak out against AI's proposals.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

AI's real thoughts?

It doesn't take a great deal of political nouse or religious savvy to predict that many religious organisations that believe the right to life is the human right will oppose the current moves within AI, so the the statement issued this week by the Catholic Bishops' Conference in England and Wales, although welcome, is unsurprising. What is far more interesting is AI's response to the media reports of this statement.

Now AIUK has not been particularly forthcoming with its views in public; hiding behind the excuse that there is an ongoing consultation among members (the details of which haven't been revealed to the general membership yet), they have apparently refused to field spokesmen on the media and AI UK's comments to the press have been bland and uninformative. So any comments made by AI are read with interest, particularly the comments made to the Universe newspaper.

In response to the statement from the Bishops' Conference, a spokesman for AI said the human rights landscape had changed dramatically since it was founded:

“Back then it was more to do with civil and political rights but now there are other issues concerning economic, cultural and social rights,” [the spokesman] said.

“Our biggest campaign at the moment is about women’s rights and in particular stopping violence towards women.

“It would be difficult for us to have a campaign about women which did not also include sexual and reproductive rights as well.”

This is worrying because it could quite legitimately be inferred that this spokesman, whom we assume speaks for the organisation, has taken the stance that abortion plays some part in economic, cultural or social rights. Where is the logical argument to support this, let alone the moral argument?

We sincerely hope this is not the view currently held by AI or else the consultation process would be a sham. Sadly, AIUK's track record is very poor on this: it had to apologise for not allowing people who opposed abortion to speak at a members' meeting when all the speakers AI had lined up were in favour of changing the position on abortion.

Coming back to the spokesman's comments: no-one is suggesting that there should not be a campaign to stop violence against women; that campaign is to be applauded. No-one is suggesting that there should not be a campaign that included sexual and reproductive rights: rape is wrong: period.

What many people point out is the inconsistency that AI faces if it adopts a position that would advocate abortion and still pretend to be a human rights organisation. For example:

    • Enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the right to life, not the right to have an abortion
    • An abortion is violence towards both male and female unborn babies
    • An abortion completely removes the choices of an aborted child

We will continue to work on the premise that the consultation amongst members will be real and urge members to contact their local AI branch by letter and email to protest about any change to the current AI position. AIUK members and members of the public can send their comments to National Director Kate Allen, either by post to Amnesty International UK, The Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London, EC2A 3EA, or by email to

Outside the UK contact your nearest AI branch - check here to find out

Friday, August 04, 2006

English & Welsh bishops warn AI

Catholic bishops in England and Wales have issued a statement expressing its concern about any plans to change AI's stance and called for the organisation to retain a neutral position on abortion. The Bishop of East Anglia Michael Evans, a long time supporter of AI, has been leading the calls and spoken out in the media recently (see previous post). Bishop Evans (pictured) has warned AI that he belived that many Catholic supporters of the organisation could not remain members if AI was to change its stance.

In the statement the bishops say "The Catholic Church shares Amnesty’s concern for the most vulnerable, but does not believe that removing the rights of the unborn child is consistent with Amnesty’s core values. "

Don't divide your membership says English Bishop

The Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales says Amnesty International risks compromising its values if it declares that abortion is a “human right”. The Bishop of East Anglia, Michael Evans, is a member of Amnesty International. In an interview with Vatican Radio the Bishop said the proposal would move the organisation further from its roots, and divide its membership. You can hear the clip here for a limited period of time (requires Real Audio player).

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Opposition spreads beyond usual suspects

When it was suggested that AI change its long-held stance of taking a neutral position on the issue of abortion, those who proposed the move assumed it would be the "usual suspects" that would oppose it - the Catholic Church, other Christian churches, and pro-life groups to name a few - and that the organisation could ride through any storms that these groups caused.

There are two fundamental flaws with this way of thinking:

Firstly, AI relies heavily on those very groups to operate - many parishes have their own AI groups who support both the organisation's campaigns and bank balances. Riding rough-shod over these members is not something to be advised.

Secondly, as we've commented in this blog before, it is absolutely not just an issue for Catholics, other Christian churches, or any other religious community. Many people of no faith believe that abortion is fundamentally wrong and that the right to life is the fundamental human right. today reports that some US Liberal groups are also campaigning against the move - proof that this issue is much wider than some people give it credit for.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Online petition - please sign

The following is from a comment left by a poster on this blog, I think it is worth highlighting. Thanks to Bill Samuel of Consistent Life for this.
The movement of Amnesty International in the direction of recognizing a “right” to kill an unborn child is a matter of great distress to its consistent-life constituency. All those who report on having called AI’s national office in the United States received curt responses stating that AI is maintaining neutrality, in contradiction to the form letters the same people receive after writing to AI. We have found no indication that the phone calls or the letters are being tallied in order to give decision-makers an accurate assessment of the widespread dismay their decisions can cause. The “policy consultation process” the form letter claims to be underway must be problematic when those who call are not having their names and addresses taken down, while being told emphatically that this process is nothing but a rumor. Accordingly, Consistent Life, an international network for peace, justice and life, is organizing a drive to allow this constituency to be registered and counted (see text below). All those who have ever supported AI are invited to sign it at:

AOL poll

AOL news used the piece from AP on the issue recently. There is a poll on their site (quite unofficial); far b eit from me to influence how you vote in it, but the link is here.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Associated Press article: Religious Groups Outraged by AI Proposal

AP has recently covered the issue - the article has been copied in several blogs, so the link is just in case you haven't seen it yet. It is all great publicity for those people (especially AI members) who were unaware of this proposal. ...keep spreading the word folks.

US Pro-Life blog claims the campaign is hitting the headlines

The US based is claiming that the campaign to stop AI changing its stance on abortion is beginning to hit the headlines. This is great news. In the UK the number of column inches and media reports have decreased since the AI UK Annual General Meeting. So it is important to keep the momentum going. If you have not written to AI yet, please contact them. If you have written to them I would be very grateful for a copy of their response....unfortunately I am not getting much out of them at the moment.

AI UK seems a little coy about all of this

In May I first phoned the Amnesty International offices in London to find out the official position of AI on the issue of abortion. I registered a complaint that as a member I had not been informed of the motions being put to the AI and was told that I should have received information in February 2006: I did not receive that, and I know that other members did not receive their packs, but the Royal Mail has its faults. Anyway the guys at AI were apologetic and told me they would post a pack out to me immediately. I asked them to post to me any other information that they had, as they were most insistent that the press and media reports on AI UK's abortion policy were wrong. I waited...and waited...and waited...a letter and a couple of gentle reminders by phone have still not been fruitful. The wait continues.

Friday, July 07, 2006

New Campaign to give amnesty to the unborn

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has launched an online Amnesty for Babies campaign. Patrick Buckley, a spokesman for SPUC, said preborn children are deserving of amnesty. "The word 'amnesty' comes from the Greek word 'amnestos' which means 'the forgotten ones,' " he said. "Who more than the unborn babies are nowadays the 'forgotten ones' -- particularly those which are aborted." Buckley is calling for people and legislators around the world to sign a petition that asks governments not to legalize abortion. Jeanne Head, the National Right to Life Committee's representative to the United Nations, said leaders need to hear from the people. "We need to get millions and millions of people signing on from all over the world," she said. "We need to have a positive campaign, because all of the treaty documents in the United Nations, up until this point, do provide protection for unborn children." Thomas Jacobson, Focus on the Family's representative to the U.N., pointed out the irony of preborn children needing protection from a group centered on amnesty. "We commend SPUC for this noble and essential campaign," he said, "to counter the terrible and misguided decision of some Amnesty International organizations to support abortion." FOR MORE INFORMATION:To learn more about the petition and to download copies, visit the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children website

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Cardinal warns AI

A senior Vatican official has claimed that Amnesty International will be discredited if it pushes for the decriminalization of abortion around the world.

Cardinal Renato Martino said, "I have great esteem for Amnesty but doing this, they cut off their hands. I hope they don't do this because if they do, they are disqualified as defenders of human rights."

Cardinal Martino stated that by defining abortion as a human right, that Amnesty International would lose support from Catholic activists.

Martino said, "When they say 'reproductive rights', they mean abortion. Do they defend the rights of everybody? No! Not of the unborn because the unborn will be killed."

Amnesty, which was founded in 1961 by Catholic lawyer Peter Benenson, has been consulting its members to see if they should drop their neutral stance on abortion and start pushing countries to drop laws that make abortion a crime.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Second Canadian Bishop Denounces Amnesty International for Move to Abortion Advocacy

Archbishop Raymond Roussin, of the Roman Catholic diocese of Vancouver, spoke out against Amnesty International last week, condemning the organization's move to "endorse abortion as a so-called human right," reported CanWest News Service on Friday.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The message

The message is finally getting out. I've seen a few blogs on this now and seen postings on; and other sites. But this is not just an issue for Catholics or Christians - there are still lots of members of AI (with and without religious convictions) who would be outraged by this if they knew what AI is considering. Please pass the message on and contact AI.

Political move undermines Amnesty International

AI has long been seen as the guardian of human rights; one of the reasons it won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977. Indeed the organisation AI took a deliberate decision that it would not accept government or state funding so that it would neither be beholden to any state nor could be accused of being partial to the interests of any government. The number of lives that the organisation has saved is countless and underpinning this success is the moral authority the organisation could demonstrate. Now some elements of the organisation want to substitute the moral authority that has stood it (and the countless people it has helped) in goodstead for fashionable political correctness. The right to an abortion is not enshrined in any declaration of human rights, indeed an abortion seems to contradict human rights. The decision to advcate abortion would be a political one - not a moral one; any such decision would finally turn AI into a political movement: contrary to the objectives of AI's founders and to the detriment of the organisation.

Friday, June 09, 2006

More Canadian reaction

According to the Catholic Register AI's plan to adopt abortion policy appalls Canadian pro-lifers, see link above. Apparently most delegates at the AI Canada's AGM on May 26-28 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, wanted to change AI’s current neutral position on abortion, Alex Neve, the Canadian section’s general secretary, told Catholic News Service ion May 31. There was “a diversity of views, but the majority of participants were in favor of moving in that direction.”. Neve said a Canadian delegation would present the section’s views at an International Executive Committee meeting in July in Portugal. The committee has been authorized by AI’s International Council Meeting to set policy by the end of 2006 on the questions of “decriminalization of abortion, access to quality services for the management of complications arising from abortion, and legal, safe and accessible abortion in the cases of rape, sexual assault, incest and risk to a woman’s life.” A decision on the further question of whether a woman’s “right to physical and mental integrity includes her right to terminate her pregnancy” will be made at the next International Council Meeting in August 2007 in Mexico.

Friday, June 02, 2006

USA section keeps quiet on its decision

The US section of AI has still not made clear its position on the matter of abortions. The section held an AGM last month in Oregon.

According to the Catholic News Agency Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J.,said he had questioned the U.S. section about its intentions and was told that "no decision has been made" or would be made before 2007. "I would hope they reject it," Mr Smith said. "They [Amnesty International] would cease to be a human rights organization and morph into just another anti-child, pro-abortion organization."

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

United for Life's campaign

I heard today that United for Life has been campaigning about this issue for a while (I've got to say that I hadn't heard about the campaign, sorry guys, but they have been very active by the looks of it). Apparently they have written to AI UK on several occasions, but have had no response. The link above takes you to a page which contains links to the letters they have sent.

Canada votes

The Canadian section of Amnesty International voted at the weekend to support the "decriminalization" of abortion and advocate the right to abortion in curcumstances where the woman has been a victim of sexual violence or if the woman's life is threatened. The Canadian decision may not go as far as the UK or the NZ decisions taken recently, but it still goes too far.

Canadian reaction: Toronto Star

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Catholic Life: Amnesty International and Abortion

A Catholic Life: Amnesty International and Abortion

How can Amensty International think abortion is a human right?

What we can do

Remember this issue will be debated by all Amnesty International country groups before an international meeting in Mexico in summer 2007. There is time - campaign against it - contact your local AI group.
  • UK Amnesty members and members of the public can send their comments to National Director Kate Allen, either by post to Amnesty International UK, The Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London, EC2A 3EA, or at
  • Outside the UK contact your nearest AI branch - check here to find out
  • Write letters to your local newspaper to raise awareness about the current debate

BBC Radio interview

The issue was debated on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour by Bruce Kent, peace activist and member of Amnesty International and Valerie de Fillipo, Director of External Affairs, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). This demonstrates the attempts by pro-abortionists to hijack the important organisation that AI is. Note: The BBC keeps some broadcasts online for a limited period of time. If the link does not work, email me.

Right to life - that's a human right!

It says it all.....Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Article 3 :Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person AI is committed to upholding the Declaration of Human Rights. How can proactively advocating abortions be pro-article 3? Right to Life does not recognise the killing of another human being as a human right. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states: "The child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, deserves special care and safeguards, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth." This is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world.

New Zealand AI supports abortion advocacy

AI New Zealand supports entering into abortion advocacy. This decision was made recently at Amnesty’s annual meeting in Wellington. A final decision will be made by the international body.

Amnesty’s current position on abortion is neutral, it now sees abortion as a human right that should be promoted and protected. It now proposes to actively fight to deny the human rights of unborn children and their inalienable right to life. In taking this step it is turning its back on human rights. Abortion entails the destruction of an innocent unborn child, the weakest and most defenceless member of the human family.

Protect the Human!!

It's ironic....Amnesty International's latest campaign is Protect the Human - just as they debate whether or not to promote abortion as a human right!

Spectator Article

Simon Caldwell, writing in the UK magazine the Spectator, outlines the issues in this week's edition. Check it out here. This is an excellent article and well worth the read. I am an AI member and to be honest this issue passed me by for quite a while - this article is a real eyeopener.

Amnesty UK Magazine article

The following is the brief report from Amnesty International UK's magazine for members (issue May/June 2006): "After serious debate the AGM 'recommends that AI-UK attend the next Chair's Forum and supports the developmnent of research and action within current and future strategic plans to achieve:
  • decriminalisation of abortion,
  • access to quality services for the management of complications arising from abortion
  • legal, safe and accessible abortion in cases of rape, sexual assault, incest and risk to a woman's life...'"
The article also mentions that a framework for consulting its UK members is being finalised. As soon as I find out more, I'll post it here.