By John-Henry Westen

Archbishop GraciasNEW DELHI, May 18, 2006 ( – The President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), Archbishop Oswald Gracias, has condemned the proposal of Amnesty International to enter into abortion advocacy.Â

In response to a request by, Archbishop Gracias said, “If the much-respected organization adopts a pro-abortion policy, it would mean that Amnesty International is bidding good-bye to human rights, which has been it’s hallmark for over forty years.”

Archbishop Gracias, a Canon Law expert, responded to those who argue that abortion, especially in cases of rape and incest could be seen as a human right.“The Catholic Church believes that in the case of a rape and the incest, no doubt that human rights of the victim is violated,” he said, “but it does not take away the right of the unborn child.” Similarly, he added, “In the case of mother’s life being in danger, the Church’s position is that both the mother and the child have equal rights to live. Efforts should be made to save both the lives.”

The Archbishop pointed to the UN declaration on the right of the child which calls for legal protection for the child before birth. ‘“The child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth,” says the document.

The Church, the CCBI President concluded, “upholds the human rights of all, even of the unborn child.”

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