Radical NGO Paints Abortionists as Human Rights Defenders
(NEW YORK – C-FAM) In a recently released report from the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), the advocacy group is appealing to the United Nations (UN) to formally recognize abortion-providers as "human rights defenders." In "Defending Human Rights," CRR presupposes that abortion is part of the accepted human rights framework and targets legal restrictions on abortion, funding restrictions on abortion and "failure to reduce abortion-related stigma" as "human rights violations." CRR asserts that abortion providers should be recognized as "human rights defenders" because the targeting of abortion providers directly infringes on women’s fundamental human rights by restricting "women’s ability to realize their right to reproductive healthcare, including safe abortion." According to the website of the UN Office of the High Commission on Human Rights, "human rights defender" is a term used to describe people who "individually or with others, act to promote or protect human rights." To be a human rights defender, a person "can act to address any human right on behalf of individuals or groups" and "seek the promotion and protection of civil and political rights as well as the promotion, protection and realization of economic, social and cultural rights." Critics point out that none of the binding UN human rights treaties mention abortion or "reproductive rights" and that CRR is using the non-binding recommendations of UN committees and a creative interpretation of existing human rights to claim that there is a global right to abortion. CRR's interpretation of international law attaches abortion to recognized and established human rights. In the paper, CRR asserts that the human rights to dignity, liberty and security "require that women have reproductive and sexual self-determination." This right to "reproductive autonomy" includes "women’s ability to control the number and spacing of their children," the rights to information, privacy and confidentiality. In addition, the right to health necessarily comprises the right to sexual and reproductive health, including "reproductive healthcare services" – which include abortion, according to CRR. CRR charges that policy and legal measures to regulate abortion qualify as discrimination against abortion providers, who are acting as "human rights defenders." CRR cites mandatory delays and counseling laws as a human-rights-defender violation that "prohibits" the exercise of providers' "rights to practice." CRR also seeks to make governments portray abortion in a positive light, claiming that governments failure to address the "deeply rooted stigma" of abortion is tantamount to condoning and encouraging "the targeting of providers for harassment and legal restrictions on their work." CRR also charges that funding restrictions on abortion are discriminatory because they "single out one category of medically necessary services for elimination." CRR's recommendations include creating measures to increase the number of physicians performing abortions (including by teaching abortion in medical school), advocating the repeal of laws restricting abortion and repealing funding restrictions. The report is just the latest attempt by CRR to get abortion-providers recognized as "human rights defenders." In 2008, CRR led the charge at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to get abortion-providers classified as defenders of human rights.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
August 13, 2009
UN Health Data Show Liberal Abortion Laws Lead to Greater Maternal Death
By Aracely Ornelas
(NEW YORK – C-FAM) The world's largest abortion provider, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), has recently acknowledged an alarming "surge" in maternal deaths in South Africa, challenging the pro-abortion mantra that liberal abortion laws decrease maternal mortality. Maternal deaths increased by twenty per cent in the period 2005-2007 in South Africa, a country that since 1996 has had one of the most permissive abortion laws on the African continent. While deaths attributable to HIV/AIDS account for the biggest portion of maternal deaths in South Africa, IPPF acknowledges that a portion of deaths are "due to complications of abortion" in a country where the procedure is legal and widely available. Developing countries have been badgered in recent years by various United Nations agencies and pro-abortion civil society organizations, including IPPF, to decriminalize abortion as a measure to reduce maternal mortality rates. However, the latest IPPF revelation is the latest fact in a growing body of evidence showing the opposite relationship in which legal abortion and high maternal deaths coincide. To illustrate, the nation with the lowest African maternal mortality rate is Mauritius, according to a 2009 World Health Organization (WHO) report. Mauritius' laws are among the continent's most protective of the unborn. The report further shows how countries that have decriminalized abortion in recent years in response to pressure, such as Ethiopia, have failed to lower dramatic maternal death rates. Ethiopia's maternal death rate is 48 times higher than in Mauritius. According to WHO, the country with the lowest maternal mortality rate in South America is Chile, which protects unborn life in its constitution. The country with the highest is Guyana, with a maternal mortality rate 30 times higher than in Chile. Guyana has allowed abortion without almost any restriction since in 1995. Ironically, one of two main justifications used in liberalizing Guyana’s law was to enhance the "attainment of safe motherhood" by eliminating deaths and complications associated with unsafe abortion. Nicaragua has been in the crosshairs of the international pro-abortion lobby since it amended its law three years ago to grant full protection to prenatal life. Sweden, for example, reportedly cut over $20 million in foreign aid as a result. More recently, Amnesty International issued a report claiming maternal death rates increased following Nicaragua's law going into effect. Media critics, however, have contested the veracity of Amnesty's claims , and Nicaraguan government statistics show a decline in maternal deaths since 2006. Similarly, WHO statistics for the South East Asia region show Nepal, where there is no restriction on the procedure, has the region's highest rate of maternal mortality. The lowest in the region is Sri Lanka, with a rate fourteen times lower than that of Nepal. According to the pro-abortion public interest law firm Center for Reproductive Rights, Sri Lanka has among the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. Worldwide, the country with the lowest maternal death rate is Ireland, a nation that prohibits abortion and whose constitution explicitly protects the rights of the unborn.