Likely New United Nations Human Rights Chief Pillay Supports Abortions

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 24, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Likely New United Nations Human Rights Chief Pillay Supports Abortions

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 24
, 2008

New York, NY ( — A South African judge who is expected to become the next human rights chief at the United Nations may believe in human rights for people after birth, but she doesn’t extend them to human beings beforehand. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today named Navanethem Pillay to the position.

If approved, she would become the next United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, a post that Canadian Louise Arbour vacated last month.

Pillay has served as a judge at the International Criminal Court in the Hague since 2003 and, before that, was the presiding judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

The UN General Assembly will meet on Monday to discuss the appointment and U.S. officials have said they have concerns because of Pillay’s pro-abortion position.

During an interview with the Judicial Service Commission in 1994, when she was considering becoming a member of the Constitutional Court, she expressed her pro-abortion views.

She said she opposed having any mention of the right to life of unborn children in the South African constitution.

"I wondered why the right to life was stated so explicitly, it is going to open up huge debates on the right of the fetus and so on," she said at the time.

She said she opposed that part of the Constitution, "Because that is the one clause they are going to latch on to for their cause, the pro-life lobby."

Pillay complained that establishing a right to life for unborn children would open up the courts for lawsuits.

"Here there is a bold statement right to life, it would just open up litigation I feel. Without other rights, without spelling out what is the right to life, when it begins," she said.

She also complained that a right to abortion was not included.

"I think other lobbies would say why not other rights, why have not other rights been put in there as patently as this one which would be the woman’s right to, reproductive rights, for instance," she said.

U.S. officials have ultimately decided not to block her appointment, as it appears there will be little opposition to it.


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