Amnesty International has continued its promotion of abortion with a report on the state of human rights which criticizes Poland for denying Polish women “access to abortion.” The organization’s actions could reflect its partnership with a pro-abortion group to redefine abortion as a “human right.”
The Amnesty International (AI) 2009 report’s entry on Poland cites May 2008 criticism of its abortion policy by the Human Rights Council, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) reports.
Amnesty also criticized the Polish government for failing to implement the European Court of Human Rights’ 2007 ruling in the case Tysiac v. Poland, which declared a duty to “establish effective mechanisms for ensuring women have access to abortion where it is legal.”
The Tysiac v. Poland case resulted in a 25,000 Euro fine against the Polish government in favor of a severely myopic woman who claimed she would go blind if she could not get an abortion.
According to C-FAM, critics of the ruling say the woman’s claims were unsupported by the facts and the court ignored the opinions of eight experts, several of whom were medical specialists, who concluded there was no connection between her pregnancy and her condition.
Judge Javier Borrego Borrego of Spain wrote in his dissent in Tysiac v. Poland that the majority relied on the “isolated and muddled” opinion of a single general practitioner.
“By trumpeting decisions like Tysiąc and statements emanating from United Nations agencies to advance a global abortion agenda, Amnesty International has adopted a strategy originally spearheaded by pro-abortion public interest law firm Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR),” C-FAM charged on Thursday.
Susan Yoshihara, a C-FAM official, reported that at the 2007 Women Deliver Conference in London, Amnesty International’s “reproductive rights” coordinator Stephanie Schlitt committed the group to partnering with CRR to make abortion recognized as a “human right” through litigation.
Yoshihara described Schlitt’s strategy as relying in part upon arguing that such a right could be found in existing human rights treaties. Even though such treaties are silent on abortion, she said, skillful advocacy could help sway United Nations officials and global jurists to recognize such a right.
Amnesty International, which was founded by a Catholic convert, took no position on abortion until in July of 2007 it began officially advocating for it as a “human right” in certain cases. The switch caused Catholics around the world, including some bishops, to cancel their membership in Amnesty.
C-FAM says that some critics see a growing trend of “human rights” groups seeking to impose abortion obligations on countries.