The coalition of pro-life musicians, Rock for Life, which claims some 700 musicians as members, says that Amnesty International’s new abortion policy risks alienating some of its pro-life celebrity supporters.
Rock for Life has accused Amnesty of “duping” pro-life singers, such as Christina Aguilera and Avril Lavigne, who are among those featured an Amnesty CD to raise awareness and funding for the survivors of Darfur, reports The Sunday Times. The CD was released two months ago and has sold more than 400,000 copies to date.
Rock for Life accuses Amnesty of using the CD to promote abortion, without making its intentions clear to the singers because it didn’t consult its membership before adopting its new pro-abortion stance.
Two weeks ago, Amnesty adopted a worldwide policy to advocate for the right to abortion in the case of rape or when a woman’s health is endangered by her unborn child.
“The manipulation of musicians to fund this hypocrisy is maddening,” said Rock for Life director Erik Whittington. “We are writing to all the artists to ask for their views.”
Aguilera, 26, comes from a Catholic background and has taken part in a television show in which she interviews a teenager who decided to keep her baby rather than have an abortion.
Lavigne, 22, a French-Canadian was also raised in Christian family. Her song Keep Holding On is the backing track to a YouTube video that declares “abortion is murder”.
According to The Sunday Times, an Amnesty spokesperson has defended the CD project, saying it was launched with the sole intention of raising awareness about the situation in Darfur.
Widney Brown, Amnesty’s director of policy, said there was “overwhelming support” for the policy decision on abortion at the group’s international gathering in Mexico City. But the Sunday Times reports that Amnesty is surprised by the wide reaction against its new policy.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is one of the most recent Catholic organizations to voice its protest against Amnesty’s new policy. In an open letter dated Aug. 23, USCCB president Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane said the new policy “undermines Amnesty’s longstanding moral credibility and unnecessarily diverts its mission.”
“In promoting abortion, Amnesty divides its own members (many of whom are Catholics and others who defend the rights of unborn children) and jeopardizes its support by people in many nations, cultures and religions who share a consistent commitment to all human rights,” he wrote.
The bishop suggested that supporters of human rights would seek to work with organizations other than Amnesty, “who do not oppose the fundamental right to life from conception to natural death.”
He concluded his letter by calling on Amnesty to reverse its policy decision.