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UN committee attacks Ireland for their pro-life laws

25 July 2008

The United Nations is pressing Ireland over its restrictive abortion law. The UN's human rights committee expressed concern and noted that what it calls progress was slow. [Irish Times, 25 July] Patrick Buckley of European Life Network, Dublin, writes: "This is yet another example of an 'out of control' UN committee operating beyond its mandate and instructing nations to adhere to its own agenda rather than the covenant it is supposed to be monitoring. There is no reference to abortion anywhere in the [International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights] or any other legally binding international treaty. This is the type of action [which] brings the UN and its agencies into disrepute." [ELN blog, 25 July]

The UN secretary general has nominated a pro-abortion judge as human rights commissioner. Mr Ban Ki-moon has proposed Ms Navanethem Pillay of South Africa who had problems with her country's constitution over its mention of unborn children's rights. [LifeNews, 24 July]

The Crisis Pregnancy Agency in Ireland has suggested that the law should be changed to allow married couples to have unwanted children adopted. Ms Caroline Spillane was speaking to a parliamentary committee and also described her organisation's campaign to get young people to delay their first sexual intercourse. [Irish Times, 24 July] Patrick Buckley of European Life Network said of the adoption proposal: "This suggestion is completely unacceptable and should be resisted. It is contrary to both the Irish Constitution and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. If families are in financial difficulty, it would be more appropriate for the state to provide adequate assistance rather than breaking them up. Every child has a right to be raised in his or her family of origin."

The Social Democratic and Labour Party, which has mainly Catholic support, has added its voice to those opposing a recently-proposed extension of British abortion law to Northern Ireland. Mr Mark Durkan MP MLA said the party, which he leads, would: "... do everything we can to oppose these plans and will do so on behalf of the people who have elected us and on behalf of those human beings who can be saved if we can effectively curb and hold back the extension of this act." [Catholic News Service, 24 July] MPs have proposed an amendment to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

There is sex-selective abortion among Asian Americans, according to the Population Research Institute, Virginia. In a YouTube video, the institute uses published statistics to suggest that terminations are skewing the gender-balance. It cites the UN's claim that 100 million girls are missing worldwide because of the practice. Mr Steven Mosher, president, asks: "Where are the feminists when you need them?" [LifeSiteNews, 24 July]

A Vatican prelate has urged the world's Anglican leaders to resist the culture of death. Cardinal Ivan Dias, head of the congregation for evangelisation, was addressing the 10-yearly Lambeth conference in Kent, England. He advocated Christian unity in the face of abortion and other social ills. [Christian Today, 24 July] The Anglican bishops and other religious leaders yesterday marched in London in support of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals. Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, Sir Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi, and Muslim and Sikh leaders joined the demonstration. [BBC, 24 July] There is pressure from some quarters to use the goals to promote abortion.

A husband's white blood-cells were used to help his wife bring a baby to birth after eight miscarriages. Mr Paul Metson of Essex, England, provided tissue which produced antibodies to stop Mrs Laura Metson's body from rejecting their son who is now eight weeks old. [Telegraph, 24 July]

A survey of IVF practitioners suggests that many are worried that new fertility techniques are being offered with insufficient clinical trials. [Daily Mail, 24 July] The same research suggests support for banning smokers from IVF. [Telegraph, 24 July]

Consuming fish-oil capsules late in pregnancy could cut asthma in children, according to Danish research on more than 500 children. [Reuters, 24 July]

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