Amnesty International Continues Attacks on Dominican Republic Over Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 10, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Amnesty International Continues Attacks on Dominican Republic Over Abortion

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 10
, 2009

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (LifeNews.com) — Amnesty International, the human rights group that disappointed supporters when it adopted a pro-abortion, is continuing its attacks on the Dominican Republic. The group is attacking the Caribbean nation for its proposed protections for unborn children in its draft constitution and in the country’s penal law.

In late April, AI released a statement saying the country’s constitutional and legal reforms “could lead to violations of women’s human rights” and claming pro-life laws would lead to increased maternal mortality.

In a new statement released Tuesday, AI says the pro-life language in the constitution and penal law "could lead to violations of women’s human rights."

"The measures may be used as justification for criminalizing abortion in all circumstances, including where the life or health of the woman is at risk or where the pregnancy is the result of rape," the group said.

That’s because the new Constitution would include a reference to the inviolability of the right to life "from conception to death."

Amnesty International’s pro-abortion position came about because it wanted to advocate abortion in cases of rape or incest and it is that language the Dominican Republic wants that is causing some of the opposition.

"Amnesty International calls on the Dominican Congress to eliminate the proposed Article 239 which targets rape, incest and involuntary fertilization victims for criminal punishment for abortion," it said.

Piero Tozzi, an attorney with the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, has been monitoring Amnesty International’s attacks on the Dominican Republic for its pro-life position.

"In so doing, Amnesty pits the rights of the mother against those of the unborn child while misrepresenting what international law says – or doesn’t say – about abortion," he says.

"Critics point out, however, that in addition to being fatal to the child in utero, maternal health risks from abortion outweigh those associated with childbirth, particularly where the level of obstetric care is low," he explains.

He says statements AI has made about the nation’s supposed conflict with international law are contradicted by prior statements by the group. As recently as 2005, Amnesty acknowledged that “There is no generally accepted right to abortion in international human rights law.”

"Amnesty’s revisionist approach to global human rights is unsupported by traditional understandings of international law based principally on the consent of state parties to precisely-drafted and duly-ratified treaties," Tozzi notes.

Two years later, however, Amnesty International formally abandoned its previous objectivity and embraced abortion advocacy.

Since Amnesty International abandoned neutrality on abortion, it has become an increasingly aggressive abortion advocate, Tozzi notes.

"Earlier this year it demanded that Mexican physicians be forced to perform abortions in cases of rape, even where doctors had conscientious objections to abortion," he says.

Among major human rights organizations, Human Rights First still maintains neutrality on the abortion issue, in contrast with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

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