Thursday, May 10, 2007

Amnesty International is Pro-Abortion, But Doesn’t Want You To Know It

From First Things, an account of someone who logged onto the secret “members only” section of the Amnesty International website, and got the inside scoop on what they are doing.

So what is the new policy?

The organization seeks to eliminate all penalities against women who have abortions, and against abortion providers.
Though they try to make a strong distinction between “decriminalization” (what they’re for) and “legalization” (what they take no position on), it’s mere semantics. In the April 2007 “Background” policy paper, they describe their goal this way: “Oppose imprisonment and other criminal penalties for abortion, both for women seeking or having abortions and for those providing information about or performing abortions.”

Then, in the FAQ, they specify: “‘Decriminalization’ means the removal of all criminal penalties (including imprisonment, fines, and other punishments) against those seeking, obtaining, providing information about, or carrying out abortions.” In other words, besides standard medical protocols, you can not regulate abortion at all. Some medical protocols that carry fines and other punishments are apparently out, too.

The “Background” paper also states that their new policy is to “call on states to: Ensure access to abortion services to any woman who becomes pregnant as the result of rape, sexual assault, or incest, or where a pregnancy poses a risk to a woman’s life or a grave risk to her health.”

Wait a minute. We’ve just gone from “decriminalizing” abortion to calling on states to “ensure access.” And, when you throw in the language of a risk to life and health, even if you include the obligatory word “grave,” all of a sudden every abortion becomes “ensured.” If you doubt this, just look at the way Roe’s health exception and Doe’s broad definition of the word have been used.

In fact, read further on in the FAQ and you see that Amnesty International disagrees with the recent Supreme Court decision to uphold a ban on partial-birth abortion. “AI therefore opposes the provision of the federal law upheld by the Court in Carhart that imposes fines and up to two years in prison for doctors who perform particular types of abortions.” According to the new Amnesty International position on abortion rights, a state can’t even prohibit the gruesome practice of partial-birth abortion.
Of course, if you take the position that nobody should be punished for something, you are in fact demanding legalization.

Liberals would instantly understand this if some conservative organization espoused the “decriminalization” of something they wanted to be illegal -- like assault rifles.

But now that they have decided to come out in favor of abortion, are they willing to do so forthrightly?

No, they are not.

Again, a passage from their secret members-only web site:
It is very important to be aware of the following: This policy will not be made public at this time. As the IEC [Amnesty International’s International Executive Committee] has written to all sections, “There is to be no proactive external publication of the policy position or of the fact of its adoption issued. This means no section or structure is to issue a press release or public statement or external communication of any kind on the policy decision.” (emphasis original)
The author of the article, Ryan T. Anderson, goes on to explain:
Anticipating that news might get out anyway, the website contains links to four other documents—a two-page overview of the new policy, a letter from the executive director explaining the change, and an already-written letter to the editor “that should be used only to respond to critical editorials or letters to the editor in local newspapers.” Members were encouraged to circulate these documents to the public but only in response to prior attacks on Amnesty’s new policy—they’d prefer not to generate any PR if possible, and do damage-control only if they have to. . . .

The fourth document, a FAQ, could only “be used to respond to inquiries, but not distributed to the public.” Schneider ends by telling volunteers that they were not to “respond to any inquiries from the news media” but to direct reporters to the AI Communication Department.
Amnesty Internation, which once embraced an agenda that virtually all Americans could endorse, has been forced (probably by competition with other liberal organizations) to adopt a more and more partisan definition of “human rights.”

First it was their anti-death penalty activism, and now their support for abortion.

They are, really, nothing more than a standard liberal interest group.


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