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United Nations attacks conscientious objection to abortion

18 September 2010

United Nations attacks conscientious objection to abortion Geneva, 18 September 2010: At the Human Rights Council in Geneva, top United Nations officials have called for the policing of nations worldwide to “address the refusal of physicians to perform legal abortions”.

At the same time as Pope Benedict XVI was warning the British parliament that governments were threatening the right to conscientious objection, Ban Ki Moon, UN secretary-general, and Navanethem Pillay, UN high commissioner for human rights, launched a report “on discrimination against women, in law and practice, and how the issue is addressed throughout the United Nations human rights system”.

Pat Buckley, a senior lobbyist for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) in Geneva, said: “This latest top-level report cites pro-abortion recommendations made by made by both the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and the Committee on Torture (CAT). Both of these committees went beyond their mandates in making their recommendations.  It cites, for example, the CESCR’s recommendation, in its forty-second and forty-third sessions held in 2009, that States address the refusal of physicians to perform legal abortions.

“The report recommends the creation of a new office or “Thematic Procedure” to focus on laws and practices that discriminate against women. This means the appointment of a special rapporteur who, in addition to following up on genuine rights contained in the human rights covenants and conventions, would also follow up on treaty body recommendations such as the attack on doctors’ conscientious objection to abortion by the CESCR.”

John Smeaton, SPUC director, said: “Pope Benedict got to the heart of the matter in Westminster Hall yesterday when he highlighted the worldwide attack by governments on conscientious objection.  Ban Ki Moon and Navanethem Pillay are exploiting their UN roles to step up this attack and to push for a global right to abortion.

“Last June the same pair of UN officials pushed through the Human Rights Council an ideologically-driven pro-abortion report with the aim of attaching legalized abortion to the Millenium Development Goals. Governments and concerned citizens worldwide must heed Pope Benedict’s timely warning and stop this latest report in its tracks”, concluded Mr Smeaton.


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