Documents asserting individual rights, such the Magna Carta (1215), the English Bill of Rights (1689), the French Declaration on the Rights of Man and Citizen (1789), and the US Constitution and Bill of Rights (1791) are the written precursors to many of today’s human rights documents.
It’ll come as no surprise to anyone that the National Women’s Council is out with (yet another) new campaign to repeal the right to life of preborn babies, all the while ignoring the evidence that abortion hurts women. It’s sad to think that in the 21st century some women still cling to the antiquated notion that abortion is somehow a liberating thing, when its actually the very opposite of what a progressive and compassionate society should make available to a woman in crisis.
WE ARE HEARING, with increasing regularity, that the United Nations is insisting that Ireland must legalise abortion. Since the primary mission of the UN is to protect human rights, this seems more than a little strange because you cannot, in my view, be a genuine human rights defender while calling for some human beings to be stripped of the most fundamental right of all, the right to life. A closer look at the reality behind the news headlines, however, makes two things abundantly clear.
Like the vast majority of Irish women, I’m not a member of the National Women’s Council. In fact, almost no-one is, in the same way that only a minority of people support the NWCI’s position on abortion. They want to legalise abortion-on-demand, paid for by the taxpayer. The baby’s rights are never mentioned, there’s no compassion for the life that is ended. It’s a pretty extreme stand to take, and the NWCI don’t speak for me, or for most women I know. But they still get wads of our cash to push for the legalisation of abortion. So, even though I profoundly disagree with their wholehearted support for abortion, I am still being forced to fund it through my taxes.
Even in the increasingly bizarre parallel universe of the United Nations, you would expect a Human Rights committee to understand this fundamental principle: human rights are inherent for all members of the human family, they are not bestowed by any government, and cannot be denied by any self-styled Council.
On 10th April 2014 I and some other members of Precious Life attended the European Parliament’s public hearing for the European Citizen Initiative One of Us. With nearly two million collected signatures of support, the One of Us initiative was presented as the largest petition in the European Parliament’s history. The aim of this initiative is to prevent EU funding being used to advance embryo stem-cell research and any other activity that involves the destruction of unborn human life. The success of the One of Us initiative shows that the protection of every human being from the moment of conception is a matter of great concern of European citizens. Approximately $120 million in EU development aid is currently spent each year to protect reproductive health. This initiative has given European citizens a voice to discuss and debate the allocation of this funding.
The global media were buzzing this week with the well-flagged announcement that Ireland’s pro-life ethos was under attack, yet again, by an international court challenge. But while the media preferred to focus on describing Ireland’s laws as ‘inhuman and cruel’, they were careful not to reveal that a million-dollar, US-based organisation is behind this new push to extend abortion in Ireland.
As reported in the Alive Newspaper, former diplomat, Eamon Delaney, has written a scathing article on the support for abortion expressed at the recent UN hearing in Geneva. Writing in the Irish Independent, the author and journalist said that a “whole raft of Irish quangos and NGOs went along to see Justice Minister Alan Shatter being grilled by the bureaucrats and officials of other countries. More than 17 Irish officials accompanied the minister. And, even by the standards of the UN club, some of the questioning was extraordinary.””
The ‘Your Rights. Right Now’ report which has caused so much controversy in the past week is just 11 pages long, with 16 pages of additional notes. Although its producers make much of the public consultation undertaken in producing the report, it’s striking that an average of just 13 people attended each of the public meetings to discuss its content. And the report, submitted to the United Nations last week for their review of Ireland’s human rights record, makes only 17 recommendations. Yet one of those recommendations is given over to a demand for immediate action by the government to ensure abortion is legalised in Ireland. It’s a jarring, divisive paragraph in the report. What kind of human rights advocates see the killing of children as an answer to anything? And who would endorse submitting such a report to the United Nations to represent the Irish people?