by Steven Ertelt
April 9, 2008
Pristina, Kosovo (LifeNews.com) — A team of pro-life advocates is headed to Kosovo to ensure the new nation’s constitution is abortion neutral. The province of Kosovo declared independence from Serbia earlier this year and the draft copy of the new country’s constitution removed legal protections for unborn children.
Pro-life advocates have been concerned the new constitution would transform the traditional Muslim and Orthodox Christian society by removing legal protection for the unborn.
The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (CFHRI) told LifeNews.com in February that Article 26 of the proposed document grants "the right to make decisions in relation to reproduction in accordance with the rules and procedures set forth by law."
It also gives each Kosovar "the right to have control over his/her body in accordance with law."
Pro-life campaigners on an international scale are concerned about the use of the term "reproductive rights" because UN committees have been misconstruing the term to mean the promotion of abortion.
To make sure that doesn’t happen in Kosovo, a pro-life team will arrive in Pristina this week to meet with top government officials and religious leaders about the draft constitution.
The team plans to meet with senior government officials and hold a press conference on Friday, Natalie Bell of Concerned Women for America told LifeNews.com and it will present a petition signed by 50 groups from the US and Europe that outlines many concerns about the language of the draft constitution.
Some of the pro-life leaders on the team include Glen Lavy of the Alliance Defense Fund, Susan Yoshihara of CFHRI, Wendy Wright of CWA, Antun Lisec of Human Life International Croatia, Carol Soelberg of United Families International and several European pro-life advocates from Romania, Belgium and elsewhere.
Bell said the team is not meant to promote or oppose the question of independence but will focus its efforts on helping drafters frame a constitution that doesn’t promote abortion.
The draft constitution was initially authored in 2004 by a non-governmental organization (NGO) called the Public International Law and Policy Group.