Amnesty International to Consider Pushing for Global Right to Abortion

MORALES, Mexico, August 10, 2005 ( - Amnesty International (AI) is to consider pushing abortion as a human right at its biennial International Council Meeting (ICM) beginning next week. The August 14-20 ICM with representatives from the fifty AI branches worldwide will consider altering the organization’s neutral stance on abortion.

Amnesty International’s current policy on abortion states: “AI takes no position on whether or not women have a right to choose to terminate unwanted pregnancies; there is no generally accepted right to abortion in international human rights law.”

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) points out that at a preparatory meeting for the ICM in London last month, keynote speakers included representatives from pro-abortion groups International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Marie Stopes organisation and the Federation for Women and Family Planning in Poland.

While AI’s current stance on abortion is neutral, SPUC notes that other official bodies that interpret human rights treaties are increasingly indicating support for:

- the provision of abortion in the case of rape or incest
  - the provision of abortion in countries where it is already legal
  - access to abortion as a human right in all cases.

Bodies such as the United Nations Population Fund and others consider abortion as a human right under the nomenclature of “reproductive rights”.Â

Commenting on the likelihood of the ICM changing the AI stand on abortion, UK AI spokesman Mike Blakemore told the Catholic Universe, “It is impossible to say at this stage what the outcome of this meeting will be. Reproductive rights will be discussed but there may be no decision made. The decisions at the ICM are made according to how they effect rights all around the world.”

  To express concerns to a local AI office:


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