Human Rights Group Awards Activist Helping Women Get Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 18, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Human Rights Group Awards Activist Helping Women Get Abortions Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 18
, 2006

New York, NY ( — With intense violations of human rights occurring daily around the world — from the genocide in Darfur to the extreme poverty due to the North Korean regime — a leading human rights watchdog has decided to award a Mexican activist who helps raped women obtain abortions.

The award comes at a time when China is under more intense pressure for jailing a blind attorney and his supporters who put an international spotlight on a brutal campaign of forced abortions and sterilizations there.

Despite those injustices, Human Rights Watch will give its highest award to Verónica Cruz on November 2.

Cruz is the founder and head of Las Libres (The Free Women), a pro-abortion group in the Mexican state of Guanajuato which directs women victimized by rape to places where they can get abortions.

Abortion is illegal in Mexico with the exception of saving the mother’s life and in rape and incest. Though legal in those very rare cases, most Mexican women who are sexually abused and become pregnant do not get abortions.

Abortion advocates say the cultural, spiritual and governmental climate there makes it difficult.

Cruz’s group fought a move by the state government in Guanajuato to amend the state penal code to prevent abortions in cases of rape. As a result of this pressure from her pro-abortion group, then-governor of Guanajuato Ramón Martín Huerta vetoed the law.

“Verónica is an inspiration for human rights activists everywhere," Marianne Mollmann, advocacy director with Human Rights Watch’s Women’s Rights Division, claims.

But Raimundo Rojas of the National Right to Life Committee, disagrees.

"It is ironically crass that an organization purported to be a watchdog for human rights violation would honor a woman whose principle goal in life is the destruction of the unborn," he told in an interview.

"This is further evidence that there is a world-wide push to equate civil rights with abortion rights, which has become the mantra of the pro-abortion movement," Rojas explained. "Sadly, many within Latin America are falling into this trap with groups such as HRW leading the way. "

The award also comes at a time when Amnesty International, considered the top human rights group in the world, is considering whether or not to take a pro-abortion position.

ACTION: Contact Human Rights Watch with your concerns: 350 Fifth Avenue, 34th floor, New York, NY 10118-3299, phone – (212) 290-4700, fax – (212) 736-1300, email – [email protected]