Texas defunding abortion providers violates a woman’s ‘right to life,’ pro-abortion group says
Ben Johnson co-wrote this article.
RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TX, November 22, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A new report states that the closure of family planning centers caused by the state of Texas' refusal to fund abortion providers is a human rights violation that disregards women's “right to life.”
The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Rights made the allegations in a new report entitled, “Nuestra Voz, Nuestra Salud, Nuestro Texas.”
In 2011, the Texas legislature voted to bar family planning funds from going to abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood, or their affiliates, and cut the state's budget for such programs from $100 million to $38 million.
President Obama threatened to deny the state $40 million in federal grants if it did not restore the funding for Planned Parenthood. Instead, Texas Governor Rick Perry created the Texas Women’s Health Program, an entirely state-run program that did not fund abortionists.
That caused nine family planning facilities in Texas' Lower Rio Grande Valley to close. Although there are 23 additional family planning facilities in the area – and 66 primary care facilities – the abortion industry claims Texas' women are being deprived of their right to health care.
The report’s executive summary says the Rio Grande Valley area of Texas, where it surveyed women, has “widespread violations of women’s rights to life and health, non-discrimination and equality, autonomy and privacy in reproductive decision making, and freedom from ill treatment.”
“Reproductive rights include ﬁrst and foremost the fundamental human right to life,” the report states.
It also says the UN Human Rights Committee “has said the right to life should not be narrowly interpreted” but “requires governments to take proactive measures to reduce unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortion.”
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Failing to provide access to “safe” abortion could violate a woman's “right to life,” the CRR report implies.
The new report favorably quotes a conclusion from the UN Commission on Human Rights that “[g]overnment failure to take positive measures to ensure access to appropriate health-care services that enable women to safely deliver their infants as well as to safely abort unwanted pregnancies may constitute a violation of a woman’s right to life, in addition to the violation of her reproductive rights.” (Emphasis added.)
The problem is especially acute for women in Texas “without authorized immigration status,” the new report concludes.
The Center’s study blamed immigration status for some women’s inability to access abortion and contraception.
The indication was the taxpayers of Texas must furnish immigrants who are in the state illegally better access to government-subsidized “reproductive services” or be guilty of violating their fundamental rights and dignity.
The Center has spent years defending abortion as a “human right.” In 2011, it honored “abortion providers as human rights defenders” and said in 2012 that “the right to life is a fundamental human right...accruing at birth.”
However, abortion is not formally recognized by either the United States or the international community as a “human right.” In October, the European Parliament voted down a resolution that would have declared abortion to be a human right.
Human Life International Vice President for Missions Father Peter West told LifeSiteNews.com that the Center’s claims are outlandish and make a mockery of genuine human rights abuses.
“Radical ideological and political mudslinging has severely diminished the basic understanding of what constitutes an authentic human right,” Father West told LifeSiteNews. “It’s a scientific fact that life begins at conception, and to claim a ‘human right’ to take a human life is absolutely ludicrous.”
“Yet the Center for Reproductive Rights pushes a narrative around the world that an entitlement to contraception – which has the potential to end newly formed human life – and abortion –which absolutely kills human life – is a ‘right’ of greater value than the God-given right of every human being to life,” he said.
Although it criticizes Texas law for reducing women's access to abortion providers, CRR has praised the U.S. Supreme Court for upholding the Affordable Care Act because the law’s “presumptive benefits…represent vital progress toward fulfillment of a fundamental right to affordable reproductive health care for all women.”
Despite the fact that as many as 100 million people could lose their health insurance by next fall due to the law's provisions. Those who find new coverage may not be able to keep their preferred doctor or hospital, as many have opted out of the new health care system.
A spokesperson from the Center told LifeSiteNews.com that CRR still stands behind ObamaCare.