Abortion is NOT a Human Right!

Petition to: UN Committee on Human Rights

 

Abortion is NOT a Human Right!

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3,332 people have signed. Help us reach 5,000 signatures.

Abortion is NOT a Human Right!

“EVERY HUMAN BEING HAS THE INHERENT RIGHT TO LIFE”

The Human Rights Committee, a treaty body at the United Nations Office in Geneva, has adopted a document that would seek to require states to legalize abortion under certain conditions.

This document, known as General Comment No. 36, declares that states “must” provide access to abortion in cases of rape, incest, health of the mother, and when the pregnancy “is not viable.”

General Comment No. 36 also calls on states to remove criminal sanctions on abortionists who provide illegal abortions. It calls on states to “remove existing barriers” to abortion and urges them “not introduce new barriers,” including “barriers” created by health care workers exercising their right to conscientious objection from being forced to perform an abortion contrary to their moral convictions or religious beliefs.

The Human Rights Committee is tasked with monitoring the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The ICCPR is one of the most widely adopted and highly esteemed international human rights treaties. General Comment No. 36 seeks to reinterpret the ‘right to life’ in the ICCPR to mean that states “must” provide abortion access under certain conditions.

However, the ICCPR never mentions abortion. To the contrary, the ICCPR guarantees the right to life for every human being:

“Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.” (ICCPR, art. 6(1)).

The ICCPR also recognizes that the life of the unborn child should be protected from the execution of the death penalty:

“Sentence of death … shall not be carried out on pregnant women.”

General Comment No. 36 would seek to turn the ‘right to life’ on its head by claiming that the ‘right to life’ means a right to abortion.

States are legally bound by international law to observe treaties they have ratified or acceded to. From time to time, the Human Rights Committee will issue General Comments, documents which seek to elucidate how the Committee interprets certain provisions or thematic issues contained in the treaty. General Comments often provide states with what the Committee believes are their obligations under the treaty and provide recommendations for implementing the treaty.

General Comments are not binding on states. States are not required to follow the Human Rights Committee’s recommendations on how to implement the ICCPR.

Nevertheless, non-binding recommendations offered by the Human Right Committee often places pressure on states to legalize abortion or to weaken the enforcement of pro-life laws. With the adoption of General Comment No. 36, the Committee and other U.N. entities will be empowered to place significantly more pressure on sovereign states to legalize abortion. General Comments are more authoritative and esteemed documents than statements issued as part of concluding observations on state party reports. General Comment No. 36 is the first General Comment from a U.N. treaty body stipulating that all states “must” legalize abortion under specified circumstances. No prior statement or General Comment issued by a treaty body has been so precise or so widely applicable.

General Comment No. 36 will empower U.N. entities to urge state to legalize abortion under these enumerated circumstances under the false pretenses that states are required to do so under international human rights standards.

The Human Rights Committee’s attempt to turn the ‘right to life’ on its head by claiming that it means a right to abortion must be stopped.

Please sign our petition to tell the Human Rights Committee that abortion is NOT a human right.

To learn more about this petition, and get a version you can share click here: https://tinyurl.com/y97c7798.

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Petition to: UN Committee on Human Rights

TO: Mr. Yuval Shany, Chair;

CC: Members of the Human Rights Committee:

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) guarantees the right to life for every human being:

“Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.” (ICCPR, art. 6(1)).

However, paragraphs 8 and 9 of “General Comment No. 36 (2018) on article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, on the right to life” would seek to actively deny the right to life to entire subsets of humanity, namely, the unborn and certain “afflicted adults.”

Let us make this very clear: abortion is not a human right.

Nowhere in the text or preamble of the Covenant can there be found a right to abortion access under any circumstances. Neither can there be found a right to abortion access anywhere in the preparatory work (travaux préparatoires) of the Covenant, nor in subsequent agreements, nor in subsequent state practice, nor in customary norms of international law (see Annex below).

Neither the work nor the jurisprudence of the Committee supersedes the ordinary meaning of the text of the ICCPR or subsequent agreements agreed to by state parties, or subsequent state practice. The Committee is not operating within its mandate when it seeks to interpret a treaty in a manner not stated or implied by the text of the treaty or by state parties. The Committee’s jurisprudence and work—including General Comments, concluding observations of state party reports under Article 40 of the Covenant, or views adopted by the Committee under the First Optional Protocol—cannot validly interpret the ICCPR in a manner not intended by state parties or evident in state party agreements or practice.

The Human Rights Committee has no authority to assert that states “must provide safe, legal and effective access to abortion” under any circumstances. The Committee has no right to urge states to remove criminal sanctions on abortion, to remove “barriers” to “legal abortion,” or to “revise their abortion laws.” These interpretations of the right to life in the ICCPR are not substantiated by the text of the treaty or by any valid general or supplementary means of interpretation under the Vienna Convention on Law of Treaties.

We, the undersigned, call on the Committee to immediately replace General Comment No. 36 with a new general comment that does not seek to interpret the Covenant as creating an obligation on states to provide access to abortion.

We also ask the Committee to stop calling on state parties to “decriminalize” or legalize abortion under any circumstances. We ask the Committee to refrain from asking states to loosen restrictions on abortion or to remove “barriers” to abortion access.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Abortion is NOT a Human Right!

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3,332 people have signed. Help us reach 5,000 signatures.