Backlash Against Amnesty International Continues Over Pro-Abortion View

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 21, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Backlash Against Amnesty International Continues Over Pro-Abortion View Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 21,

Sydney, Australia ( — The backlash against Amnesty International is continuing following its decision last week to reaffirm the pro-abortion position its executive committee laid out in April. After a top Catholic bishop in England resigned his membership in the human rights group, a Catholic college in Australia has quit as well.

St. Aloysius College in Sydney announced yesterday that it would no longer have a membership in the human rights group because of its "abandoning its long-held policy of neutrality on abortion."

According to headmaster Chris Middleton SJ, "This means that the College and many other schools, I believe, will no longer support Amnesty groups."

"I raised these concerns with Amnesty a year ago and have canvassed the arguments in the media," he said of his past attempt to persuade Amnesty not to go down the pro-abortion path.

Middleton said AI’s pro-abortion position "strikes against the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child which states that every child ‘needs special safeguards and care, including legal protection, before as well as after birth.’”

Catholic schools and colleges in Australia and elsewhere have Amnesty International groups that raise funds for AI’s human rights efforts. Their resignation will be a significant blow to the group.

In an Aug. 20 interview with Vatican Radio, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, also commented on Amnesty’s recent decision. He spoke specifically to the reasons behind the pro-abortion change — namely, to protect women who are victims of sexual assault.

"Certainly one must combat violence against women, the inhuman form of violence which is rape, and struggle together to defend the dignity of women, of any woman," the cardinal said.

However, he said, one can never push for the taking of another human life, "even if it is the fruit of violence," he said.

Meanwhile, Father Frank Pavone, the founder and director of Priests for Life, told about his concern over the decision.

"Amnesty International was founded to protect human rights, yet it now treads upon the most fundamental human right, the right to life," said Fr. Pavone. "To fail to protect the right to life renders suspect one’s advocacy of any other human right."

A Catholic layman, Peter Benenson, founded Amnesty International in 1961.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Amnesty International that you want it to reverse its decision to support abortion. Go to 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.