Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Amnesty International and Abortion

August 20, 2007: Amnesty International affiliates have unfortunately reaffirmed a decision their leading officials made in April to endorse abortion. With their official backing, AI will now move ahead with plans to promote abortion in areas like Darfur and to try to get nations in places like Latin America and Africa to overturn their pro-life laws prohibiting abortions. Catholics must now boycott the organization and cancel their memberships and plans to send in donations. Source:LifeNews

June 14, 2007: Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for justice and Peace, has called on all Catholics to stop funding Amnesty International because of its recent support of abortion. Source: LifeSiteNews

May 21, 2007: Below is an email that I found on the blog Kyrie Eleison. It is certainly time for us to sever our membership with Amnesty International.
To: All those who signed the petition asking Amnesty International not to take a stand on decriminalizing abortion and pushing governments to allow access in certain circumstances.

From: Rachel MacNair, Vice-President, Consistent Life

The petition was hand-delivered to the hands of each member of the Board of Directors of the U. S. chapter of Amnesty International on March 23, 2007.

I am sorry to report that AI has indeed decided to take this step. You can get more information at and a good editorial on this at

The decision was made despite polling of members in the UK that went against it, despite a vote of US members the results of which were never reported, and included explicit censorship of someone wishing to leaflet at the U.S. national conference. Those of us AI supporters who are heartsick about this no longer have a voice, inasmuch as it can be said we ever did.

We encourage all US members of AI to telephone them at (212) 807-8400 and ask for the membership department. We have been told that they are keeping track of what this abortion policy decision does to their membership; they anticipate that losses may be offset by gains, so knowing of losses is important.

We also suggest the following organizations for those who wish to re-direct their human-rights donation budget:

Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC)
4121 Harewood Road NE ~ Suite B
Washington, DC 20017
Phone: (202) 529-2991

National Religious Campaign Against Torture
4500 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Phone: (202) 885-8648

Human Rights First
333 Seventh Avenue, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10001-5108
Phone: (212) 845 5200

Friends Committee on National Legislation (Issues of Torture and Civil Liberties)
245 Second St., NE
Washington DC 20002-5795

It would be good to include a note to let these groups know that they are getting funds re-directed from AI and why, to make it less likely that they will move in a pro-abortion direction in the future.

Student groups who no longer wish to affiliate with AI but would like to continue their good work might consider setting themselves up as independent organizations, and using informational research from AI along with other human rights groups in order to continue acting and educating on these important issues.

May 8, 2007: It appears that Amnesty International may have adopted an overall pro-abortion stance (Read more)

March 31, 2007: UK Affiliate of Amnesty International has adopted a pro-abortion stance (Read more)

April 28, 2006: Amnesty International, the organization dedicated to curbing human rights abuses, wants to take a stance on abortion. They claim that abortion should become an international right and pro-life laws should be toppled. (Read More)

Please contact Amnesty International and ask them to not support a right to abortion.

June 29, 2006 Update: The Catholic Church has told Amnesty International that if it does adopt the policy to work for a "right" to abortion in its international meeting in Mexico in August 2007, then the Catholic Church will withdrawl all support of the organization.

Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Pontifical Council for Peace and Justice and the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, said "I have great esteem for Amnesty but doing this, they cut off their hands. I hope they don't do this because if they do, they are disqualified as defenders of human rights." He added, "When they say 'reproductive rights', they mean abortion. Do they defend the rights of everybody? No! Not of the unborn because the unborn will be killed."

May 31, 2006 Update: Amnesty International of Canada has voted to support abortion and work to defeat all pro-life laws. Please act on this issue!

May 19, 2006: A few weeks ago I posted asking my readers to contact Amnesty International. The group was thinking about whether to support abortion and change their neutrality. I am disappointed to say that the British and New Zealand affiliates have voted to support a right to abortion.

What about the children! What about those little babies that don't get a chance to live!

Currently, Amnesty International says it “takes no position on whether or not women have a right to choose to terminate unwanted pregnancies; there is no generally accepted right to abortion in international human rights law.” In August 2007, Amnesty International will take part in an international meeting in Mexico. The organization is going to decide where to take a stand to support abortion. If they do approve, Amnesty International will not only support abortion but fight to eliminate all pro-life laws.

PLEASE contact Amnesty International. Tell them as a Catholic you will never support an organization that supports abortion. This is so important, please contact them. (Source)


del_button May 31, 2006 at 11:20 AM
Darrell said...

I think they should change the name to Selective Amnesty International of Canada.

del_button May 31, 2006 at 11:54 AM
Anonymous said...

I wrote to them.

del_button May 31, 2006 at 11:57 AM
Matthew said...

Darell, I agree.

Anonymous, thank you for taking action on this really important issue.

del_button June 1, 2006 at 2:13 AM
Anonymous said...


did you know there has been an explosion of abortions in the U.K?

Through the use of ultra sound women are now aborting their babies if they are found to have 'webbed hands' or a club foot and any other MINOR disabilities.

So much for 'science'...sometimes I wonder about this world...

Peace to you and everyone


del_button June 1, 2006 at 6:54 AM
Matthew said...

Marie, that is very sad. I'll have to remember to pray for the UK.

del_button July 24, 2006 at 8:28 PM
Anonymous said...

The movement of Amnesty International in the direction of recognizing a "right" to kill an unborn child is a matter of great distress to its consistent-life constituency. All those who report on having called AI’s national office in the United States received curt responses stating that AI is maintaining neutrality, in contradiction to the form letters the same people receive after writing to AI. We have found no indication that the phone calls or the letters are being tallied in order to give decision-makers an accurate assessment of the widespread dismay their decisions can cause. The "policy consultation process" the form letter claims to be underway must be problematic when those who call are not having their names and addresses taken down, while being told emphatically that this process is nothing but a rumor.

Accordingly, Consistent Life, an international network for peace, justice and life, is organizing a drive to allow this constituency to be registered and counted (see text below). All those who have ever supported AI are invited to sign it at:

We ask sympathizers to forward this message on to all individuals and listserves who may be interested. Links on web pages and notices in newsletters and newspapers would be much appreciated, along with any other ideas for getting the word out.

The on-line format allows a running tally to be seen by anyone at any time. Tallies will be announced to the media periodically at appropriate points.

Registry of Consistent-Life Supporters
of Amnesty International

We have contributed money or actions to Amnesty International, and want to be able to continue to do so in good conscience. We are distressed about the move to frame abortion as a right, rather than understanding it as a form of violence.

Abortion is violence against unborn children. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child states that every child "needs special safeguards and care, including legal protection, before as well as after birth." [Resolution 1386(XIV) of 20 November 1959]

Abortion is violence against women. Unjust pressures on women become more likely with abortion availability, such as sexual exploitation and lack of services or workplace accommodations for mothers. Large numbers of women have indicated that their abortion was a major trauma for them.

We are afraid Amnesty International could lose its most important asset: its credibility. We support AI's advocacy against the death penalty for the guilty. Will the sincerity of this be discounted by some if AI supports legalizing it for the innocent? "Human rights" can be dismissed as partisan propaganda when used by people advocating some form of violence. Because AI's work is so crucial, the consequences of squandering its well-earned reputation are truly dire.

The proposed stand for medical care for women who have had botched abortions is reasonable, as for women who have suffered torture or rape or any other kind of violence. From our point of view, it is in the same category. The current stand AI takes against coerced abortion is also admirable.

Beyond these, since AI has another large constituency that would keep it from taking our position, the previous long-standing position of neutrality on abortion is a reasonable compromise.

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