The Center for Reproductive Rights, a global legal group promoting an international right to abortion, is expanding its presence and advocacy into more countries with assets of over $21,000,000.
The Center is spreading its legal research, UN advocacy and local networking to several nations in Asia, including Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. The Center will work in these countries through its new Asian office in Kathmandu, Nepal– a country it celebrates as a ‘proud achievement’ following a radical change in Nepal’s law it helped orchestrate to allow abortion on demand.
The Center’s Asia office will focus on promoting ‘reproductive rights’–which includes contraception, maternal health and abortion–in law and policy. The Center opened similar offices in Nairobi, Kenya and Bogotá, Colombia in 2011.
In Europe, the Center recently criticized efforts in Spain and Romania to issue restrictions on abortion including changes to provide informed consent, a waiting period and parental consent. The Center issued a strident opinion statement called Public Service Europe: Spain and Romania Backslide on Abortion which included, “The imposition of such onerous restrictions flies in the face of reason and all available evidence. And it conflicts with the publication of the WHO’s guidance-the considered opinion of the world’s leading body of health and medical experts. The WHO clearly states that restrictions on abortion like those under consideration in Spain and Romania demean women as decision makers. The restraints also deter and delay them from seeking the reproductive healthcare they need and place their health and autonomy at risk.”
In Latin America, constitutional protection of the unborn child in El Salvador is now a target. The Center’s president Nancy Northup claimed, “Liberalizing restrictive abortion laws, like El Salvador’s, is essential to saving the lives and protecting the health of millions of women across the globe every year. Study after study has shown there are no positive outcomes to banning abortion outright.”
The just released financial report for 2011 reveals that the Center had assets of $21,363,128 and another $4.6 million was given by global law firms in pro bono legal services. Its Global Legal Program was funded with $ 4,670,964 and the U.S. Legal Program with $7,076,139. The report traces its past 20 years of work advancing abortion around the world boasting: “We have strengthened reproductive health laws and policies in more than 50 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the United States. Wherever we go, we partner with local lawyers and advocates to ensure that our strategies are sensitive to–and effective in–each unique cultural, economic, and political context.”
The emboldened Center for Reproductive Rights states, “Our sweeping successes over the past 20 years have demonstrated our ability to win one legal battle after another for the future of reproductive rights. Now–and over the months, years, and decades to come–we will press ahead in our strategy for winning the war.” Its plans include “accelerating our successful campaign to establish, strengthen, and expand protections for reproductive rights in international human rights law.”
Board members of the Center include individuals who served in key positions at the United Nations and Organization of American States including Dr. Nafis Sadik (Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General and his Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia and former head of UNFPA) and Victor Abramovich (former commissioner on the Inter American Commission on Human Rights) and those who worked for Planned Parenthood including Barbara N. Grossman, Board Chair (Former Chairman, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts). The board also includes Laurie G. Campbell, Treasurer (Managing Director of Global, Corporate and Investment Banking at the Bank of America), Rebecca J. Cook (Faculty Chair, International Human Rights, University of Toronto; Co-Director, International Programme on Reproductive and Sexual Health Law, University of Toronton) and Caroline Kennedy (President, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation).
The Center will be celebrating its 20 year anniversary in October with a gala honoring Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile and Executive Director of UN Women, actress Tina Fey, and Amy W. Schulman, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Pfizer Inc for their support of ‘reproductive rights’.
PNCI issues a global warning to all who respect the dignity of each and every unique life to be informed of the actions of the Center for Reproductive Rights and its local partners as it moves forward to “winning the war”. The war that it seeks to win is a war over the lives of babies, the culture of life vs. the culture of death. A “win” for the Center and its partners results in more abortions, more dead babies, and more wounded women. Be prepared to oppose pro-abortion arguments that distort human rights and defend pro-life laws and policies.
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LifeNews.com Note: Marie Smith is the director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues.