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MCCL GO speaks in defense of life at the U.N.’s Human Rights Council

by | Jun 21, 2016

UNchamber3reThe Human Rights Council, an inter-governmental U.N. body founded to promote and protect human rights worldwide, is holding its 32nd session this month. A Working Group report on the subject has called for the legalization of abortion around the globe, even condemning so-called “barriers to access” such as waiting periods prior to abortion.

Today Mary Langlois, representing Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life’s Global Outreach program (MCCL GO), made the case at a session of the Council meeting in Geneva, Switzerland that legalized abortion is neither necessary to ensure women’s health nor required under international law.

“Legalized abortion is not required by the right to health. Maternal health depends on the quality of medical care, not on the legal status or availability of abortion,” Langlois said. “We can save women’s lives in the developing world by ensuring proper care before, during, and after childbirth, including adequate nutrition, prenatal care, skilled birth attendants, emergency obstetric care, clean water, and sanitation.”

MCCL GO noted that there is no right to abortion under international law. On the contrary, said Langlois, various international human rights instruments—such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child—“provide support for the equal protection of human beings at all developmental stages and in all conditions, which should include human beings in utero.”

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states, “Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.” The Declaration of the Rights of the Child affirms that “the child … needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.”

Langlois concluded her statement by urging the Human Rights Council “to recognize that abortion is not required by international law, and to respect the sovereignty of countries to determine their own abortion policies.”

MCCL GO is the U.N. and OAS accredited global outreach program of the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Education Fund. Its goal is to protect as many human beings as possible from the destruction of abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Learn more at www.mccl-go.org.

Here is Mary Langlois’ full statement:

I am speaking on behalf of MCCL and its Global Outreach program, present in 47 countries.

We would like to comment on the Report of the Working Group on discrimination against women in law and practice. The Report explicitly calls for the legalization of abortion in places where unborn children are protected by law, and even condemns so-called “barriers to access” such as waiting periods. The grounds for this position are mistaken.

Legalized abortion is not required by the right to health. Maternal health depends on the quality of medical care, not on the legal status or availability of abortion. Ireland, Poland, Malta, Chile, Kuwait, Libya, and the United Arab Emirates ban most or all abortions and yet have very low maternal mortality ratios. We can save women’s lives in the developing world by ensuring proper care before, during, and after childbirth, including adequate nutrition, prenatal care, skilled birth attendants, emergency obstetric care, clean water, and sanitation. Legalizing abortion is simply not necessary.

No right to abortion is established in international law. No United Nations treaty or customary international law can accurately be interpreted as creating such a right. Instead, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child provide support for the equal protection of human beings at all developmental stages and in all conditions, which should include human beings in utero. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states, “Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.” The Declaration of the Rights of the Child affirms that “the child … needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.”

We urge the Human Rights Council to recognize that abortion is not required by international law, and to respect the sovereignty of countries to determine their own abortion policies.

Thank you.

Categories: United Nations