Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Advocates push for global decriminalization of abortion at UN side panel meeting in Geneva and ignore the right to life enshrined in U.N. documents

Geneva; Tuesday Sept 18th at the 24th session of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Permanent Mission of Finland hosted a side event, urging the global decriminalization and legalization of abortion. The official title of the event was, “Decriminalization of Abortion: A human rights imperative.” The meeting was also addressed by representatives from both the Human Rights Council and the World Health Organization together with representatives from two international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that advocate abortion on demand.

During her presentation Krystyna Kacpura from Poland representing the pro-abortion ASTRA network bewailed the fact that recent developments from Macedonia, Poland and Lithuania show that these countries are turning away from abortion which she falsely claimed is a serious threat to women’s right to health. Poland, she said has one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the world but is still seriously considering the introduction of further limitations.
Kacpura bemoaned the fact that the law, as she sees it, is even harsher in reality than on paper, in that it punishes service providers and pro-abortion counselors and allows for conscientious objection of medical personnel and even hospitals. She conceded however that women themselves do not face any charges.
Kacpura claimed that abortion is actually a very simple and safe procedure and that the only way to make abortion hazardous for women is to criminalize it.
Despite evidence to the contrary from Chile and Poland Kacpura claimed that ‘highly restrictive abortion laws do not generate lower abortion rates’.

It is ironic that a side event like this would take place at the United Nations during the Human Rights Council bearing in mind that the Convention on the Rights of the Child in its preamble asserts 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” and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights tells us in  Article 3, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” The Universal Declaration also tells us that, “Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

 Kacpura’s presentation unintentionally confirmed that many European countries are turning away from the dangerous and deadly practice of abortion on demand but it is clear that officials in international organizations are still are not willing to respect national sovereignty and that they continually ignore the mounting scientific evidence revealing how abortion hurts women.

Globally, more studies are verifying that abortion not only destroys an unborn child but also hurts women. Induced abortion poses both short- and long-term risks to the physical health of women. It can also seriously affect mental health. These risks are exacerbated when abortion is legalized or promoted in countries with poor maternal health care.