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Report: Documents Show How Beijing Favors Abortion

Friday, 27 May 2005 12:00 AM

The report explains that Beijing, while not directly calling for legalized abortion, provides a "global commitment to stopping unsafe abortion." The report highlights Beijing's call upon governments to "to deal with the health impact of unsafe abortion as a major public health concern." According to the report, Beijing thus "link[ed] women's health to abortion law reform" and "affirmed what has become increasingly clear to governments and advocates worldwide: that removing legal barriers to abortion saves women's lives, promotes their health, and empowers women."

In its second recent briefing paper, "Beijing and International Law: U.N. Treaty Monitoring Bodies Uphold Reproductive Rights," CRR explains how Beijing supports the activities of other U.N. bodies that are pressuring countries to legalize their abortion laws. CRR states that Beijing "focuses primarily on the impact of unsafe abortion," and various U.N. treaty monitoring bodies have found illegal abortion to be unsafe.

According to CRR, such committees have "made the important connection between illegal, unsafe abortion and high rates of maternal mortality." According to these committees, "maternal mortality caused by unsafe abortion [is] a violation of women's rights to health and life." Thus, these committees argue that women's rights to life and health mandate legalized abortion.

CRR highlights activities of the Human Rights Committee (HRC), which monitors implementation of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Covenant, created at a time when most countries banned abortion, does not refer to abortion in any way. However, HRC has nonetheless frequently used its ICCPR mandate to pressure countries to liberalize their abortion laws.

For example, in March 2005 HRC told Kenya that it is concerned about the "maternal mortality.caused, inter alia, by a high number of unsafe or illegal abortions," and stated that Kenya "should review its abortion laws."

In 2004 HRC told Poland that it "reiterates its deep concern about the restrictive abortion laws in Poland, which may incite women to seek unsafe, illegal abortion.the State Party should liberalize its legislation and practice on abortion."

Copyright 2005 - C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute).

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The report explains that Beijing, while not directly calling for legalized abortion, provides a "global commitment to stopping unsafe abortion." The report highlights Beijing's call upon governments to "to deal with the health impact of unsafe abortion as a major public...
Report:,Documents,Show,How,Beijing,Favors,Abortion
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2005-00-27
Friday, 27 May 2005 12:00 AM
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