By Hilary White

ROME, November 24, 2008 ( – Pro-life and pro-family campaigners have been warned to expect the publication of documents, funded by the European Union, promoting abortion, euthanasia and other anti-life and anti-family practices. These documents will purportedly allow “zero tolerance for dissent,” in particular seeking to eradicate the right to conscientious objection.

John Smeaton, director of the UK’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) and a veteran campaigner at international conferences, cites several documents published recently by the European Union and the UN. These documents promote, and increasingly recommend the enforcement, of the full programme of the abortion, euthanasia and homosexualist movements. In particular they place abortion, euthanasia, etc. in the category of “human rights,” implying that to deny access to them is to deny a fundamental human right.

A report by a UN “expert group” of the UN Division for the Advancement of Women and the Office on Drugs and Crime, on “good practices in legislation on violence against women,” recommends that abortion be legalised without restriction in all the nations of the world. The working principle of this document is that withholding legal abortion is a form of “gender-based discrimination” and “violence against women.” In the context of legislation on sexual assault, it says, countries should “provide for immediate access to comprehensive and integrated services, including pregnancy testing, emergency contraception, abortion services … at the expense of the State.”

Opinion amongst the international and transnational organisations that make up the working groups of the UN and EU is moving strongly against the concept of conscientious objection for medical professionals who oppose abortion, euthanasia or like practices. As Dr. Robert Walley, head of the ethical obstetrician’s organisation MaterCare International, said at a recent conference in Rome, conscientious objector physicians are being forced out of practice.

“I left England over precisely what we’re seeing now,” Dr. Walley said in an interview with earlier this month. “I was told I had to do the abortions, or I could quit the specialty, or I could leave the country. So I left the country.”

Smeaton concurs with Walley’s assessment. He cites the EU Network of Independent Experts, which published a document challenging the right of medical professionals to conscientiously object to abortion and promoting abortion as a “human right.”

  That document, by the EU organisation charged with providing member states with guidance on human rights, also referred to “sexual orientation,” euthanasia and assisted suicide in terms of “human rights.” 

The so-called “Yogyakarta Principles,” introduced in November 2007 at the United Nations, promotes the homosexualist political movement’s claims surrounding “sexual orientation and gender identity” as human rights. The Yogyakarta Principles demand that States “ensure that all sexual and reproductive health, education, prevention, care and treatment programmes and services respect the diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities, and are equally available to all without discrimination.”

The movement towards removing the right of “conscientious objection” has also become a looming concern in the United States. President-Elect Barack Obama has promised to sign into law the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), should it be passed by Congress. FOCA would force all hospitals and medical professionals to provide abortions, with no rights of conscientious objection.

Smeaton calls upon those who uphold the right to life and the natural family to “build a powerful, peaceful resistance movement to anti-life policies pursued by governments.”

“They must be vigorously opposed by those most intimately concerned and most directly threatened: mothers and fathers throughout Europe and their families.”

Read related coverage:

Abortion and Euthanasia Bringing about the Demise of Catholic Health Care: Prominent Catholic Obstetrician


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