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United Nation’s Human Rights Council asked to protect abortionists

by | Oct 1, 2018

A coalition of over 200 pro-abortion Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) asked the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva to take further action through all formal means to “condemn attacks on abortion rights defenders and to urgently address the human rights violations arising from the denial of comprehensive abortion care’. This includes through resolutions, decisions, dialogues, reviews and debates.

Citing September 28, “Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion,” the NGOs claim that ‘sexual and reproductive health and rights ‘ activists and abortion providers–labeled by the UN as women human rights defenders–often face harassment, discrimination, stigma, criminalization and physical violence.” This is reference to an information paper on Women’s Human Rights Defenders issued by the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights which cites the Center for Reproductive Rights as the information source for the claims of targeting “by groups that oppose these rights.”

The pro-abortion NGOs claim that laws against abortion “perpetuate these violations” and “institutionalize abortion stigma and create a hostile environment for abortion providers to carry out their work”.

They tell the HRC that it is a government’s obligation “to repeal or eliminate laws, policies and practices that criminalize, obstruct or undermine individual’s or group’s access to sexual and reproductive health facilities, services, goods and information, including restrictive abortion laws.”

In closing they demand “that governments across the world respect, protect and fulfill the right of WHRDs [women human rights defenders] working to ensure comprehensive abortion care and post-abortion care to do their work free from all forms of intimidation, harassment and violence from both State and non-State actors.”

Editor’s note. This appeared at the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues.