By John-Henry Westen

related editorial:
  To Amnesty International: As a Person of Colour I Oppose the Discrimination Against the Unborn

WINNIPEG, May 30, 2006 ( – Amnesty International’s Canadian branch voted at its annual general meeting over the weekend to have the organization move into abortion advocacy. A controversial proposal by the international headquarters of the group was sent out to the regional branches of the organization last year asking if they should begin advocating for a global right to abortion.

Some pro-life Amnesty International members in Canada have expressed regret at the decision and have said they are no longer supporting the organization. One long-time member emailed to say she had transferred her regular monthly donation from Amnesty International to

The news of Amnesty’s consideration of abortion advocacy garnered warnings from religious groups that such a move would tarnish the respected organizations reputation and force people of faith to stop supporting it. Noted human rights defender and Calgary Bishop Fred Henry, in an interview with earlier this month called the move “an ill-conceived and gross betrayal of their mission to campaign for human rights.” (coverage:

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Indian Bishops Conference have all similarly condemned the move. (coverage:

Despite the warnings and concerns even among its membership, it appears the international organization will approve abortion advocacy at its final decision making meeting next year. Thus far Amnesty branches in the UK, New Zealand and Canada have all approved the controversial suggestion.

For in-depth background see:
  Amnesty International Considers Pushing Enforcement of Abortion as Human Right

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