UN Deems Abortion a Human Right

Image credit: AP Photo/Shawn Pogatchnik, File
Image credit: AP Photo/Shawn Pogatchnik, File
Image credit: AP Photo/Shawn Pogatchnik, File

The United Nations’ Human Rights Committee has determined that abortion is a human right. This revelation came in a 29- page report released Thursday, which found that Ireland’s abortion laws violate the U.N. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Ireland permits abortions only in cases where the woman’s own life is endangered by continued pregnancy.

Even though the U.N. Human Rights Committee wields no power to compel change from Ireland, it ordered the Catholic nation to repeal the right to life embedded in its Constitution:

Foreseeing such a heavy-handed assault on democracy from its Supreme Court, but not, perhaps, the UN, Irish voters, by a vote of 67 percent to 33 percent, passed a Constitutional amendment in 1983. It now reads: “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

The U.N. report said Ireland’s law made the rights of non-viable fetuses superior to the rights of women and this arbitrary imbalance “cannot be justified.” But an Irish group opposed to abortion, the Pro Life Campaign, denounced the U.N. as a pro-abortion lobby group. Its leader, Cora Sherlock, argued that fetus should have been given the chance to survive, regardless of medical opinion — “All fetuses should be carried to full term to ensure their right to life is vindicated.” She also said that U.N. experts were wrong to treat unborn children with fatal abnormalities as “unworthy of any legal protections.”