Christian Group Blasts UN for Painting Pro-Life Laws as 'Violence' on Women
A United Nations committee that has suggested that pro-life laws in Northern Ireland constitute "violence against women" has been accused of advancing a "culture of death" by a leading conservative group in the United Kingdom.
"As a matter of scientific and biological fact, human life begins at conception. No right to abortion exists in international law. Treaty monitoring bodies, such as the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, go beyond their authority and mandate in making declarations like those directed towards Northern Ireland."
Kiska continued: "By inferring such obligations, the Committee is aggressively incurring on national sovereignty and unilaterally creating obligations which have been explicitly rejected by member states during the treaty drafting process.
"It is a sad day when self-important civil servants try to undermine the laws of a sovereign nation with the sole aim of advancing the culture of death."
CEDAW's report takes aim at the pro-life laws in Northern Ireland, which provide protection for both the mother and unborn child.
While abortion has been legal and widespread in the rest of the U.K. since 1967, it is permitted only in limited cases in Northern Ireland, such as when the mother's life is in danger.
The U.N. report, published on Feb. 23, says that by allowing Northern Ireland to have its own abortion restrictions, the U.K. has committed "grave and systematic violations of rights" for women and girls.
CEDAW Vice-Chair Ruth Halperin-Kaddari argued that thousands of women from the territory are forced to travel to other parts of the U.K. in order to seek an abortion, which she said is "cruel, inhuman or degrading."
"Denial of abortion and criminalization of abortion amounts to discrimination against women because it is a denial of a service that only women need. And it puts women in horrific situations," she added, according to The Guardian.
The report further alleged that the "discrimination" going on in Northern Ireland against women amounts to "unjustifiable State-sanctioned violence."
Pro-life groups, such as Both Lives Matter in Northern Ireland, have said that as many as 100,000 people are alive in the country as a result of the nation's laws on abortion, however.
Northern Ireland is also facing political pressure to change its laws, with Both Lives Matter CEO Dawn McAvoy warning that there is a "contempt for democracy and devolution" on behalf of some politicians.
A landmark ruling by the U.K. Supreme Court moved to protect the lives of the unborn in Northern Ireland in June 2017, finding that the U.K. had to respect "the democratic decision of the people of Northern Ireland not to fund abortion services."
Pro-life group The Iona Institute said at the time that the nation "should be proud of its life-saving abortion law."
"At a time when scientific advances have given us an amazing 'window' into babies in the womb, we are right to continue to reject the permissive British abortion model," the institute said.
Liam Gibson of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children argued that giving in to demands to liberalize the abortion laws "would inevitably result in killing of babies on a massive scale, just as it has in the rest of the U.K."