UN Human Rights Body Stoutly Defends Abortion Under ‘Right To Life’ Heading. Here’s How

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has stoutly defended abortion in an advanced draft of a “general comment” under a “right to life” heading on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The following represents the body’s perspectives:

  • That states must not adopt restrictions on abortion that violate “the right to life of a pregnant woman or girl, or her other rights under the Covenant.”
  • That states must guarantee “safe, legal and effective access to abortion where the life and health of the pregnant woman or girl is at risk, or where carrying a pregnancy to term would cause the pregnant woman or girl substantial pain or suffering, most notably where the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest or is not viable.”
  • That states “should not take measures such as criminalizing pregnancies by unmarried women or apply criminal sanctions against women and girls undergoing abortion … or against medical service providers assisting them in doing so, since taking such measures compel women and girls to resort to unsafe abortion.”
  • That states should guarantee men, women, and even boys and girls access to “quality and evidence-based information and education about sexual and reproductive health … and to a wide range of affordable contraceptive methods and prevent stigmatization of women and girls seeking abortion.”
  • That states “should remove existing barriers … that deny effective access by women and girls to safe and legal abortion … including barriers caused as a result of the exercise of conscientious objection by individual medical providers.” It isn’t clear if that means the UN human rights commission calls for forcing doctors to provide abortions even if they don’t wish to.

Read the entire ‘general comment’ HERE.

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