Saturday, July 14, 2007

Shush! Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Amnesty International has come in for some bad press recently. Can a human-rights organization be taken seriously when its annual report dwells more on abuses in America and England than in Belarus and Saudi Arabia? When it rebukes Israel far more often than Iran, Libya, Syria, and Egypt? Or when it asks who has the worst human-rights record among Darth Vader, Hobgoblin, and Dick Cheney?

As disconcerting as these problems are, Amnesty International's most egregious recent offense almost went unreported--and the organization wanted to keep it that way. Hidden on the members-only section of its website was the announcement of a new policy that condemns as a human-rights violator any country that does not allow broad access to abortion or punishes abortion providers.

"This policy will not be made public at this time," the website instructed its visitors. "There is to be no proactive external publication of the policy position or of the fact of its adoption issued."
Yeah, because we know that women are so well treated in all those countries with unlimited abortion - for example, China and Japan.

The Weekly Standard article continues:
To add insult to injury, Amnesty International thinks the public is stupid enough to buy its spin. Consider its repeated claim to take "no position as to when life begins." Of course, to demand that every country in the world allow abortion is to take a position: A human being's life does not begin--at least not in a way in which Amnesty International will permit any government on the planet to protect it--until after birth.

And while Amnesty International argues that abortion advocacy follows from its long-standing work to stop violence against women, I saw no signs that it considered whether abortion itself is simply one more attack on women. Though Amnesty International is against "forced abortions," the unspoken reality is that wherever these policy initiatives are adopted, boyfriends, husbands, and employers will be able to pressure women into getting abortions.
The reality is that abortion is seldom a CHOICE - women are under intense pressure from all sides. Just think about most colleges - they offer no housing for families, at all. So can most coeds' decision to abort be considered "pressure-free"?

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