Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

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No ‘right’ to abortion exists in international law, say bioethics experts

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

July 20, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - When it comes to the supposed “right” to abortion in international law, promoted by the international abortion lobby, the rhetoric is far removed from the reality, according to the Buenos Aires based Center for Bioethics, the Person, and the Family.

The Center has issued a statement refuting the notion that “human rights” agreements permit the killing of the unborn in response to claims that such a “right” exists, which were recently made in the Argentinean National Congress by Luz Patricia Mejía, a representative of the Interamerican Comission on Human Rights.

The contentions made by Mejia, “have no foundation,” the Center states.

“Argentina is a sovereign nation that has consistently recognized the right to life of the unborn child.  No treaty that Argentina has ratified awards a ‘right’ to abortion.  Furthermore, even the European Court of Human Rights, with a recognized liberal and progressivist tendency in this area, denies that the supposed ‘right’ to abortion exists.”

The Center explains that the oft-repeated claim in favor of a “right” to abortion comes not from treaty texts or court decisions, but rather from United Nations committees, which have no authority to determine the meaning of human rights law.

“The majority of the pressure to institute this ‘right’ comes from he Committees of the United Nations, which have the authority only to monitor conformity with treaties,” the authors write.

“In a sense, by recommending and pressuring that governments modify their legislation, based on international treaties, these committees are reforming and reinterpreting the treaties and want to impose these new meanings on countries such as Argentina.”

The Center notes specifically that the European Court of Human Rights in 2009 expressly rejected the argument that a “right of privacy” requires governments to legalize abortion, which was the reasoning used by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973.

“In the case of ‘A, B, and C against Ireland’ (2009), the Court recognizes that the legal restrictions on abortion interfere with the private life of a person.  However, the Court also holds that this is a justified interference.”

The Center also notes that “there is no international tendency in favor of abortion.”

“Up to the year 2008, 68 countries in the world have absolutely prohibited abortion or allow exceptions only to save the life of the mother. Of the 196 nations of the world, only 56 accept abortion without any restriction.”

The analysis was written by James Percival, under the direction of Center expert Inés Franck and director Nicolás Lafferriere, both attorneys specializing in international human rights law.

The full report can be obtained on request from the Center (in Spanish) at [email protected]

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