Human Rights Watch Pushes Legalizing Abortion in Argentina

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 30, 2010   |   4:59PM   |   Buenos Aires, Argentina

The pro-abortion group Human Rights Watch is pushing for the pro-life South American nation of Argentina to legalize abortions.

The organization is participating in a legislative hearing today where it will present a document to lawmakers saying the nation should overturn its pro-life laws protecting women and unborn children.

“We’ve received word from our friends at the Centro de Bioetica, Persona, y Familia, that Human Rights Watch is participating in a congressional hearing tomorrow in Argentina,” Seana Cranston of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute wrote on the pro-life organization’s blog. “They will present a document that calls for the legalization of abortion.”

The Lower House or the Argentinean Congress has ended its parliamentary year but committees continue to hold meetings.

Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch’s Women’s Rights Division Marianne Mollmann will speak before the committee and argue in favor of a bill to legalize abortions.

“C-FAM reported earlier this year on HRW’s erroneous claim that Argentina is in violation of its international treaty obligations in regard to abortion,” Cranston added.

The report, “Illusions of Care: Lack of Accountability for Reproductive Rights in Argentina,” charges that “[i]n Argentina, nationalistic interests combined with an orthodox Catholic discourse on ‘family values’ have historically underpinned some of the most anti-contraception and pro-population-growth policies in the region.”

“The report erroneously cites several international human rights treaties and committees, including the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), for its claim that international law requires Argentina to provide abortion-on-demand. In fact, no international human rights treaty contains a right to abortion,” Cranston says.

“When CEDAW and ICCPR were negotiated, many of the negotiating countries had pro-life laws on the books that still remain in place today,” she adds.

“Illusions of Care” further suggests that two other international treaties—the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)—require that Argentina allow adolescents the right to contraception or an abortion without the consent of their parents.

“These two treaties do not mention abortion or contraception, and while the committees that oversee them can issue advisory opinions, they do not have the authority to make binding interpretations of treaty provisions,” the pro-life attorney responded.

HRW recently received $100 million from George Soros to promote its pro-abortion agenda domestically and worldwide.