Amnesty International leaders are this week expected to endorse abortion for rape victims and women whose health is at risk from giving birth.
The Vatican and Catholic bishops in several countries have warned that if Amnesty's leaders back the policy, Catholics will be urged to withdraw support from the human rights group.
"If, in fact, Amnesty International persists in this course of action, individuals and Catholic organisations must withdraw their support because, in deciding to promote abortion rights, Amnesty International has betrayed its mission," president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Renato Martino was quoted as saying.
Amnesty was founded in 1961 by British lawyer and Roman Catholic covert Peter Beneneson to campaign on behalf of prisoners of conscience. The Vatican is accusing Amnesty of double standards, because it opposes the death penalty in all circumstances but, it argues, under some circumstances will now condone the killing of an unborn child.
Last April, following a lengthy consultation involving members and branches around the world, Amnesty's nine-person international executive council decided that the organisation would support abortion in cases of rape, incest or to save a woman's life.
Abortion is not mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or other internationally recognised human rights documents, such as the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, which stresses the importance of protecting children "before as well as after birth."
Amnesty says it is not "pro-abortion" but supports "women's human rights to be free of fear, threat and coercion as they manage all consequences of rape and other grave human rights violations."
Last Mod: 14 Ağustos 2007, 11:10