The United Nations Human Rights Council released a report in which the Committee against Torture (CAT) equates restrictions and absolute bans on abortion as "torture and ill-treatment" of woman.
In the report released last month, the CAT states that it "has repeatedly expressed concerns about restrictions on access to abortion and about absolute bans on abortion as violating the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment."
Juan E. Mendez, UN's Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, cites the UN's opposition to discrimination and mistreatment of people who are disabled, but then also claims that barring a woman from aborting a baby who might be born with a disability is torture.
Although the Human Rights Committee's report states that: "…forced abortions or sterilizations carried out by State officials in accordance with coercive family planning laws or policies may amount to torture" and "…breeches of article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights include forced abortion …" Brian Clowes, the director of research and training for Human Life International (HLI), believes that the U.N. is culpable in supporting countries that promote sterilization and forced abortion.
"To begin with, the UN does not oppose forced abortion, except occasionally in public statements," said Clowes, author of the book, The Facts of Life. "The UNFPA actually helped to design the Chinese 30-year-old 'one child program,' which has always included forced abortion and sterilization."
Clowes told The Christian Post that in 1989, Nafis Sadik, then executive director of the UN's Population Fund (UNFPA), claimed on CBS's "Nightwatch" that the "UNFPA 'does not support abortion programs anywhere in the world,' and is 'not supporting coercion in any form.' She also continued to insist that China's population control policies are 'purely voluntary.'"
"Twelve years later, Sadik was still in denial despite a mountain of evidence contradicting her stubbornly held beliefs," Clowes said.
He added that on April 11, 1991, Xinhua, China's official news agency, quoted Sadik who lauded the country's efforts to reduce its population.
"She said that: 'China has every reason to feel proud of and pleased with its remarkable achievements made in its family planning policy and control of its population growth over the past 10 years. Now the country could offer its experiences and special experts to help other countries,'" said Clowes, who added that the U.N. has also failed to condemn the ongoing forced sterilization programs in India.
"It is time for the U.N. to stop pretending it opposes forced abortion and actually hold accountable those who are responsible for this massive ongoing violation of human rights," he continued. "Otherwise its statements of opposition are meaningless."
The U.N. report also includes a summary of a legal case in which a woman who sought to have an abortion, because her baby might have an "abnormality," was not able to, and was thus "marred by procrastination, confusion and lack of proper counseling and information," because she lives in Poland, which restricts legal abortion to include rape, medical emergencies and confirmed diagnoses of severe deformities.
"Those people born with handicaps are no less human than those who are perfectly healthy in mind and body," said Clowes, in a statement to CP. "To allege otherwise is blatant discrimination."
"We also find that once we begin to eliminate people based upon serious handicaps, it is easier and easier to kill them based upon less and less serious handicaps," Clowes added. "We see this happening in Great Britain right now, where hundreds of abortions are performed every year for such easily correctable defects such as cleft palate or club foot, and where politicians are now demanding that handicapped babies be aborted to save the State money."
The Christian Post contacted the Center for Reproductive Rights and the International Planned Parenthood Federation for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.