by Steven Ertelt
May 7, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Though it wasn’t slated to make a decision until later this year, it appears that Amnesty International has recently adopted a new policy supporting abortion. AI says abortion should be decriminalized in pro-life nations and their governments should help make it more available.
According to the human rights group’s website, its position on "sexual and reproductive rights" now "includes support for abortion."
The group has not responded to requests from LifeNews.com for comment about why it did not wait, as planned, until its international meeting later this year in Mexico City where a final decision was originally expected.
Pro-life advocates say the new position is diametrically opposed to human rights documents it has historically advocated for such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child.
In a statement to LifeNews.com, the pro-life group Consistent Life, said the new position came despite pleas from many pro-life supporters of Amnesty International.
"The AI International Executive Committee took this action despite indications that substantial numbers of members disapproved," CL’s AI Campaign Coordinator Dr. Rachel MacNair said. "The results of an on-line vote of members in the United States last Fall have yet to be announced."
MacNair also indicated that a CL member who tried to leaflet other AI supporters on this issue at the U.S. national conference on March 24 was barred from doing so and told that her pro-life position was being censored.
Fr. Frank Pavone, the director of Priests for Life, also condemned the AI-US position change.
"Amnesty International purports to be an advocate for human rights, yet it apparently now thinks that it’s acceptable for governments to trample on the most important, fundamental right, the right to life," he told LifeNews.com. "When will we extend amnesty to unborn children?"
MacNair pointed out that several leading AI activists have opposed the group supporting abortion.
Frank McNeirney, national coordinator of an anti-death penalty coalition, worked with Amnesty’s Faith in Action Initiative against capital punishment and signed a petition the group sponsored opposing the change.
Mary Grace, a Freedom Writer, helped in advising letter-writing campaigns, Friedl, an assistant in Germany’s Parliament, and Jim Forest, Founder of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation a well as Prisoner of Conscience Tom Cordero signed it as well.
Shelley Douglass, known for her leadership in anti-nuclear weapons activism, talked about AI’s change and said that "as time passes, we will come to understand the violence of abortion."
Meanwhile, Consistent Life also said that, while AI maintains its previous stand against forced abortions, the pressures that coerce and abandon women to abortion have been ignored.
"AI decision-makers appear unaware that women who have had abortions make up one of the largest constituency groups of the anti-abortion movement," it said.
TAKE ACTION: Tell Amnesty International that you oppose its becoming a pro-abortion organization fighting to make abortion legal worldwide. Go to https://web.amnesty.org/contacts/engindex to contact the group and express your opposition. Also, use the group’s web site to find your national affiliate and tell them you oppose the idea.