Colombia has a rich Catholic heritage, so it’s no surprise that Colombians are pro-life. Their laws once reflected that, but thanks to the U.N. and others, abortion is now legal.
In 2002, Colombia was sued for violating international treaties that supposedly demand legalized abortion. Colombia’s high court responded by overturning the country’s abortion laws.
More recently, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Health reported that abortion is an international human right, and the highest officials at the U.N., including the Secretary General, agree.
But they’re wrong. Dead wrong. As a newly released international declaration puts it: “There exists no right to abortion under international law, either by way of treaty obligation or under customary international law. No United Nations treaty can accurately be cited as establishing or recognizing a right to abortion.”
There is, as we can see, a culture of death at work in the U.N. and other groups. Their representatives use false claims about abortion to push developing nations into changing their pro-life laws. And they’re not above blackmail, demanding that countries comply or lose development aid. Currently, nearly 100 pro-life countries have been told that treaties demand that they permit abortion.
In order to give these nations the ability to fight back, an international group of “human rights lawyers and advocates, scholars, elected officials, diplomats and medical and international policy experts” released the San José Articles. Among the signers is my colleague and Manhattan Declaration co-author Robert George.
The Articles begin, “As a matter of scientific fact, a new human life begins at conception.” It then follows, “From conception each unborn child is by nature a human being.”
And international treaties and agreements do, in fact, protect the lives and dignity of all human beings. It’s there in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. And it’s grounded well in natural law traditions.
So, “Assertions by international agencies or non-governmental actors that abortion is a human right are false and should be rejected.” Instead of giving in to pressure to legalize abortion, the Articles assert that nations should use international treaty obligations that protect human life to justify their laws banning abortion.
Grover Joseph Reese, former U.S. ambassador to East Timor, said: “When I was in Timor I witnessed first-hand a sustained effort by some international civil servants and representatives of foreign NGOs to bully a small developing country into repealing its pro-life laws. The problem is that people on the ground, even government officials, have little with which to refute the extravagant claim that abortion is an internationally recognized human right. The San José Articles are intended to help them fight back.”
As the Articles’ website says: “Those who make the false assertion that there is a new international right to abortion have had the microphone too long. The San José Articles take that microphone away.” And all I can say is, “It’s about time.”
Come to BreakPoint.org, and we’ll link you to the San Jose Articles. You’ll find out how you can help use the articles to fight the U.N.’s insidious pro-death agenda.
Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media and print.
Publication date: October 27, 2011