Monday, April 8, 2013

Lack of access to abortion described as tantamount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

The anti-life and anti-family forces seem to be becoming more and more desperate, having spent decades and hundreds of millions of dollars trying to declare abortion to be an international human right and after all that effort, they are twenty years later still trying to advance the exact same language without advancing beyond what they got in the 1994 Cairo Conference but constantly seek new ways of doing so.

Their latest and possibly most desperate approach through United Nations has been the
attempt to declare lack of access to abortion as tantamount to torture or cruel and inhuman punishment.

The UN special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan E. Méndez, recently issued his yearly report on torture. This year's report "focuses on certain forms of abuses in health-care settings that in his view may cross a threshold of mistreatment that is tantamount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." Among other things, Méndez specifically cites lack of access to abortion.


In his report, Méndez, says that denial of reproductive justice is discrimination on the basis of gender and denial of that right can cause "tremendous and lasting physical and emotional suffering" to women.

According to the report, such violations also include:

“Abusive treatment and humiliation in institutional settings; involuntary sterilization; denial of legally available health services such as abortion and post-abortion care; forced abortions and sterilizations; female genital mutilation; violations of medical secrecy and confidentiality in health-care settings, such as denunciations of women by medical personnel when evidence of illegal abortion is found; and the practice of attempting to obtain confessions as a condition of potentially life-saving medical treatment after abortion.”
This attempted expansion of the scope of the convention is an abuse not just of the Convention but brings the entire system into disrepute. It is also grossly offensive to the genuine victims of torture and mistreatment.

of the convention and is  new UN report, specifically referring to denial by the state of the right to safely terminate an unwanted pregnancy as torture or ill treatment,

The report also says governments should recognize the preferred sex of ‘transgender’ individuals without regard to biology, arguing that forcing such people to undergo sex-reassignment surgery in order to prove their case is equivalent to torture.

 “In many countries, transgender persons are required to undergo often unwanted sterilization surgeries as a prerequisite to enjoy legal recognition of their preferred gender,” the report stated. “In Europe, 29 States require sterilization procedures to recognize the legal gender of transgender persons. … As at 2008, in the United States of America, 20 states required a transgender person to undergo ‘gender-confirming surgery’ or ‘gender reassignment surgery’ before being able to change their legal sex. In Canada, only the province of Ontario does not enforce “transsexual surgery” in order to rectify the recorded sex on birth certificates.”
 The report calls for the “elimination of homophobia” in health care settings, calling on “all States to repeal any law allowing intrusive and irreversible treatments, including forced genital-normalizing surgery … ‘reparative therapies’ or ‘conversion therapies,’ when enforced or administered without the free and informed consent of the person concerned.”

The special rapporteur demands legalization of abortion worldwide, as well as ensuring safe and available access to abortion.

The full report by the UN's Special Rapporteur on Torture can be read here.