> Political Prisoners in the Womb
Political Prisoners in the Womb
- by John Mallon, Contributing Editor, Inside the Vatican
The international human rights organization
Amnesty International (AI) is considering declaring abortion
an international human right, abandoning the neutral position
they have long held. It they do so they will be joining the
long list of enemies of the Catholic Church, perhaps their
greatest ally in the realm of defense of human rights. Amnesty
International has asked for comments from their membership
about whether to take this fateful leap. Reports say a decision
will be made at the end of 2006 or at the group's annual meeting
It is tragic that a group that has done so much good would
even consider this decision. It indicates a moral blindness
to the fact that the move for "abortion rights"
is merely the latest in a chain of cyclical genocides over
the past century which all use the same excuses to accomplish
their goals: American slavery claimed blacks were only three-fifths
human in order to exploit them: the Nazis claimed Jews were
subhuman in order to murder them. and the abortion lobby has
long claimed the unborn child lacks personhood and is merely
a "lump of tissue" in order to dispose of him.
In each case these crimes have been rationalized by demoting
the victims to a subhuman status to serve a cause: economic
for the slaveholder, "for the sake of the Fatherland"
for the Nazi, and for the sake of "women's liberation"
and convenience for the modern sex-addicted developed world,
which now inflicts abortion on the developing world to salve
consciences in a patronizing pretense of "helping the
The question is, to what moral authority does Amnesty International
appeal in justifying such a decision? A "climate of opinion"
that abortion is "necessary" to protect women? If
so, who will protect women from the abortionists? How will
Amnesty International continue to argue (as it has done, laudably)
against women being forced to abort their children in China,
when the Chinese government turns around and claims, "We
are just exercising the woman's human rights, which you yourselves
have proclaimed." Or, "We are just protecting our
human rights as a nation in avoiding overpopulation."
If the intrinsic immorality of abortion is inverted by counting
it a human right, what will be Amnesty International's argument
in these women's defense?
The agenda of abortion is arm-in-arm with the forces of tyranny
in the world. I can recall the forces of the Marxist-Leninist
League screaming red-faced into the faces of pro-lifers in
the streets of Boston. It was only fitting that the pro-abortion
forces were in common cause with adherents of the ideology
that enslaved half the world for 70 years.
Moreover, those clamoring to declare abortion a "human
right" are those who profit by it: Planned Parenthood,
Marie Slopes and their friends at the United Nations Population
Fund (UNFPA) and the nefarious bullies of the Convention on
the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
(CEDAW) which serves not women but extreme ideology.
To do their work, Amnesty International should stay far away
from these people. (The girls at CEDAW have seriously discussed
demanding that the world's religions change their sacred texts
to suit CEDAW's standards of what is and is not discriminatory
It should be quite clear to anyone in the West that modem
liberalism is inimical to Catholicism—we see it every
election season—and it is liberalism which informs the
modern leftist culture of protest. In the United Stales, for
example, one cannot be a liberal in good standing if one is
pro-life and one cannot be a Catholic in good standing if
one is not pro-life, no matter how one tries to twist it.
The subjection of authentic morality to political identity
(left/right, etc.) and the imperative nature of the need to
be identified with the "politically correct," is
a formula for the dictatorship of relativism. "Political
correctness" is a form of secular self-righteousness—morality
based not on divine law but on political fashion and whim,
or intolerance in the guise of tolerance, evil masquerading
The Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported May 5 on a reaction
to Amnesty International's proposal by Father Joaquin Alliende
of Chile, the ecclesiastical assistant to the Catholic agency.
Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).
Alliende said, "With great regret we have learned that
Amnesty International has proposed advancing abortion 'rights'
around the world as a new mission for their organization."
He continued, "Amnesty International has earned a high
reputation for its intensive efforts to gain the release of
innocent prisoners of conscience. ACN, a charity that is also
often a 'voice of the voiceless.' highly appreciates this
moral commitment of Amnesty International."
However, he said, "Now by proposing a pro-abortion initiative,
Amnesty International is abandoning its own noble ethical
principles, thereby shaking the very foundations on which
it is built; for the simple reason that unborn life in a mother's
womb is the very weakest of all threatened and persecuted
human beings. Thus, the day this initiative was launched will
become a day of mourning for all those who are unconditionally
committed to true humanism."
Should Amnesty International opt for the position that abortion
is a universal "human right" it will be a political,
not a moral decision—in fact, it will be an immoral
decision, and they will have forfeited their credibility as
a "voice of the voiceless." They will simply add
to the political din that drowns out the voice of the helpless
unborn—and the voice of reason.
To be philosophically and morally consistent, Amnesty International
should get off the political fence and join forces with the
worldwide pro-life movement. Otherwise, the status of the
unborn child as a political prisoner in the womb who may be
arbitrarily executed on a whim will have been further sealed.
John Mallon is a Contributing Editor to Inside the Vatican
magazine. He also has regular columns on the website Catholic.Org.
An archive of Mr. Mallon's work also appears here: http://www.petersvoice.com/mallon/index.html.
You can reach Mr. Mallon at
Inside The Vatican (ISSN 1068-8579) is published monthly except July
and September, with occasional special supplements.