Saturday, June 7, 2008

Women's Rights at the UN

I attended the first week of the 8th session of Human Rights Council in Geneva last week, on behalf of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. The session included an 6 hour debate on Thursday 5th June on women's human rights and I was able to make an intervention on the subject of abortion and maternal mortality. Due to the number of speakers however the available time slot was only two minutes. (Note: to view the webcast linked to above, you will require RealPlayer).

Mr Chairman, distinguished panellists, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children supports this important initiative. In dealing with maternal mortality however undue focus is placed by some governments and powerful international NGO’s on ideological issues rather than authentic human rights. This is most evident in the ongoing efforts by some organisations to make abortion a human right despite the objections of many countries. This is a distraction from genuine human rights infringements and not only undermines legitimate human rights campaigns but wastes time, effort and scarce resources. The international community has always rejected attempts to ‘hijack’ human rights initiatives in this way. The ideologies I speak of are hostile to the life of the child before birth and must be confronted and shown to be immoral, unethical, inadequate and detrimental to the future population of all nations, their economic viability and their social cohesion. Misleading terms such as ‘sexual and reproductive health’ are being abused by some countries, various UN committees and powerful NGO’s in order to force other countries to introduce abortion. When these attempts are exposed and result in failure, pro-abortionists find new ways of attempting to do so. One of the most recent abuses is the suggestion that legalizing abortion will reduce maternal mortality. The available evidence suggests that the reverse is true, as first world countries without legal abortion have a much lower level of maternal mortality. Ireland, for example, has the lowest maternal mortality in the world while the UK, which legalised abortion over 40 years ago, has a maternal mortality level eight times the Irish level and the US level is approximately 11 times higher. The blatant falsehood that maternal mortality will be reduced by the introduction of legalized abortion is responsible for the killing of countless babies and the needless deaths of women through the misdirection of scarce resources. The major factors in reducing maternal mortality include ante and post-natal care, the availability of midwives and birth attendants, medical interventions such as assisted delivery and Caesarean section, decent sanitation, clean water and the ability to provide powerful antibiotics and blood transfusions where necessary.

Monsignor Bert Van Megan made an excellent intervention on behalf of the Holy See and told the meeting that abortion is not a human right and that no UN treaty or convention makes such a claim. He also reminded the meeting that the Convention on the Rights of the Child says that "the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth."