Organization of American States Promoting Abortion in Latin America

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 12, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Organization of American States Promoting Abortion in Latin America

by Seana Cranston, JD
August 12, 2010 Note: Seana Cranston writes for the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. This article originally appeared in the pro-life group’s Friday Fax publication and is used with permission.

New York, NY ( — A recently-released document, revives concerns that the Washington DC-based Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is becoming yet another venue for the promotion of abortion, under the guise of “reproductive health,” and “family planning.”

The release of “Access to Maternal Health Services from a Human Rights Perspective” coincides with the “new international human right” to maternal health recently asserted by abortion activists at the UN-backed Women Deliver 2 conference which took place in Washington DC in June of this year.

The new report cites the American Convention on Human Rights for the proposition that “[t]he right of every person to physical, mental, and moral integrity without discrimination is enshrined in the American Convention.” The American Convention is the only international treaty that enshrines the right to life “from the moment of conception” though this is not cited in the new report.

The Access report relies heavily upon recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). For example, the report asserts that, “the lack of information on reproductive health” is a “barrier to obtaining access to maternal health services.” It also equates women’s “right to personal integrity” with access to “modern family planning services,” a vague term subject to creative interpretation from abortion rights activists.

The report consistently and repeatedly declares throughout that State members of the Organization of American States (OAS) have the “duty” to implement the report’s specific theories as to what constitutes maternal health, and to affirmatively recognize “maternal health” as a right—otherwise, member States will (according to the report) be “discriminating” against women and denying them “equality” under the law.

The report specifically contends that “laws that prohibit the distribution and sale of all family planning methods used by women” are “discriminatory.”

It also appears to target adolescents and attack parental rights, asserting that States should “eliminate discriminatory laws, policies, and practices and gender inequalities that prevent women and adolescents from seeking good quality services,” and that “[a]mong discriminatory practices, the States must redouble their efforts to eliminate gender stereotypes such as restrictions on women’s access to health care services because they do not have authorization from their spouse . . . or parents . . . .”

The report also cites the Cairo Platform for Action (Cairo, 1994), which calls for a reduction in maternal mortality by reducing “morbidity from unsafe abortion.” The report concludes with 14 “Recommendations,” including one calling for health professionals to “inform women regarding their health so that they are able to make free, well-founded, and responsible decisions in the area of reproduction.”

The Inter-American Commission is an autonomous organ of the Organization of American States. Although the Commission may consult with the Inter-American Court on Human Rights, which is a separate juridical body, the Commission itself has no judicial authority, and does not have any power to interpret the American Convention.

As previously reported, however, pro-abortion groups, such as the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) have orchestrated a strategy to co-opt the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and use it as a platform for promoting the pro-abortion agenda in order to overturn abortion laws in Latin America and rewrite the American Convention on Human Rights.


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