UN tells Poland to permit abortion of Down syndrome babies
GENEVA, March 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — A group of self-identified “human rights experts” at the United Nations has told the Polish Parliament to reject a pro-life bill aimed at saving the lives of unborn babies who who are ill or have handicaps like Down syndrome.
The United Nations Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and practice claims that the "Zatrzymaj Aborcję” (Stop Abortion) bill, if passed into law, would damage women’s health and violate Poland’s international human rights obligations.
Currently in Poland, there are only three conditions under which a mother may choose to have a doctor end the life of her unborn child: when her life or health are seriously at risk, when the child is the result of a criminal act, or when the fetus has a serious disability. It is this last provision that the Zatrzymaj Aborcję bill aims to remove.
In a press release, the United Nations pro-abortion “experts” complained that the Polish government had not replied to their most recent communications regarding the proposed law. The list of woes they predict might befall Polish women if they are obliged to preserve the lives of their unborn children includes damage to their “equality, dignity, autonomy, and bodily integrity”, restricted “access to information and their rights to a private life and to health”, and exposure “to forms of cruel and inhuman treatment.”
The "Zatrzymaj Aborcję” bill has been supported by Poland’s Catholic bishops, who asked Catholics to show support for the bill through a postcard campaign. Over 800,000 Poles asked their parliament, or Sejm, to approve the bill.
Aleksander Stępkowski, a professor of law and former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Poland, told LifeSiteNews that the UN Working Group’s statement lacks any reasonable grounds.
“Since extending the protection of the unborn in Polish law in 1993, maternal mortality has dramatically declined in Poland and now is one of the lowest rates in the world,” he stated. “It is much lower than in countries with wide access to abortion (8 times lower than in the USA, 5 times lower than in the UK).”
“Further protection of [unborn] life in Poland will result in a further decrease in maternal mortality,” he predicted.
Stępkowski observed that pressure from “UN experts” is nothing new, and that this most recent statement is intellectually embarrassing.
“It is not only based on superstitions and myths promoted by international abortion [advocates] but also exemplifies an arrogant attitude towards Polish civil society and more generally to democracy,” he stated.
“So-called ‘experts’, having neither democratic mandate nor accountability to society, are urging a democratic government to disregard the will of the 830,000 Polish women and men who, in just 3 months, supported in writing the civic bill protecting many children from the cruel death provided in gynecological offices,” the professor observed.
Stępkowski expressed his disgust that the UN had release the statement on March 22, the day after the UN’s own World Down Syndrome Day. Unborn babies with Down Syndrome are currently the “most frequent victims” of the current provisions in Poland’s laws to allow eugenic abortion, he said.
He noted that the UN’s Committee for the Protection of Disabled Persons said that eugenic abortion is an example of discrimination against disabled persons and hopes that the pressure the pro-abortion “experts” wish to exert on Poland has an effect on Polish lawmakers opposite to the ones the “experts” intend.