Amnesty International UK Branch Approves Abortion Advocacy

by John-Henry Westen

LONDON, May 5, 2006 ( - The UK branch of Amnesty International (AIUK) decided last month to have the international organization enter into abortion advocacy despite the efforts of pro-life members to persuade delegates to vote for a neutral policy on abortion. The decisions document produced by the AIUK at their national conference and general meeting held in April indicates that the group rejected two proposals to retain the AI neutral stand on abortion. (see the document in pdf here:

“The full realization of human rights should be understood to mean that a woman’s right to physical and mental integrity includes a right to . . . Legal safe and accessible abortion should she choose to have an abortion,” says the document

UK pro-life groups Precious Life and the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children have condemned the decision.Â

In a press release Precious Life accused AIUK of hypocrisy and said the organisation had now turned its back on human rights. “AIUK claim to support the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world. This convention clearly states: ‘The child …deserves special care and safeguards, including appropriate legal protection, BEFORE as well as after birth.’ It is now utter hypocrisy for Amnesty UK to continue supporting this convention while supporting the killing of a child before birth,” said Precious Life.

“Amnesty UK has turned its back on human rights, the very thing they have campaigned to protect for over forty years,” said the pro-life group. “We will be launching a campaign calling on Amnesty members to leave the organisation unless they start actively campaigning to protect the right to life of unborn children.”

  The AI branch in Canada is to decide on its position regarding abortion advocacy by May 20. (see coverage:

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