UN ‘human rights’ official: Time for ‘courage’ to demand abortion enshrinement

Apr 17, 2018 by

by Stefano Gennnarini, LifeSite:

“Sexual and reproductive health and rights are integral to the dignity of women and girls,” said Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore at a gathering of UN experts and bureaucrats in Geneva last month.

Gilmore invited some thirty international experts of two UN human rights treaty monitoring committees to “confront” the UN General Assembly and “defy” UN member states which have repeatedly refused to recognize an international right to abortion.

“This is not a time for optimism. This is not a time for hope. This is a time for courage,” Gilmore said. Egging on the experts, she said that the limitations that member states had placed on their power and resources were a “pernicious intentional effort to counter your authority, to minimize the reach of your responsibilities, and dilute the authority with which you speak.”

The remarks came as Gilmore, the second highest ranking UN human rights official, kicked off the first-ever joint meeting of the UN committees that review the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, considered foundational UN human rights treaties.

Gilmore reminded experts of the “supreme value of the human person” as the animating principle behind the human rights project.

Later, during Easter week, the Human Rights Committee, which monitors the implementation of the civil rights treaty, continued its review of a legal commentary that declares both a right to abortion and a right to die to be part of the right to life.

Citing comments on the draft commentary from Amnesty International and abortion groups, the experts agreed to find ways around, and to limit, the right to conscientious objection of medical providers and strengthen language on access abortion.

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