Human Rights Watch agitates for abortion
A new report by Human Rights Watch accuses several nations of failing to provide access to adequate reproductive health care, especially abortion. The report, ‘Unaccountable: Addressing Reproductive Health Care Gaps,” uses Human Rights Watch’s interviews with so-called victims to make recommendations to governments and international health organizations.
According to Human Rights Watch, “logistical, cultural, and financial barriers to services and information, inadequate care, discrimination, and abusive health providers block the way to reproductive health.” Alongside legitimate problems such as inadequate grievance redress mechanisms, lack of government monitoring, government corruption of health budgets in countries such as Nigeria, and bribes for health services in India, HRW condemns several nations for providing poor access to abortion.
The report cites the “astonishing” difficulties Mexican rape victims face when seeking an abortion. “Several officials aggressively discouraged legal abortions, such as a social worker who talked a 12-year-old girl raped by her brother out of an abortion.” Human Rights Watch praises the Mexican states where officials have “administrative guidelines on access to legal abortions,” and condemned the states where no guidelines exist.
The report also critiques Irish restrictions on providing information about abortion access and lack of government regulation of crisis pregnancy centers – “private organizations that provide blatantly false information on abortions.” The authors write about “Claire A.” who visited a CPC that provided what HRW considered false information about getting an abortion in England. “This unregulated organization forced her to watch a video of ultrasound pictures, put a model of a fetus in her hand, told her to name the fetus, and asked how she would feel if she ‘killed the baby’.” Moreover, the report criticizes the lack of Irish statistics about legal and illegal abortions, as well as abortion tourism to England.
The report also disapproved of the Peruvian and Nicaraguan governments for their supposed failure to respond to cases where officials denied women access to abortions which would have been allowed under local law if they faced serious medical consequences.
Pro-life observers are not surprised at the pro-abortion slant contained within the report. Human Rights Watch is “regularly partnered with pro-abortion organizations in the UN,” said Samantha Singson, director of government relations at the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, a non-profit research institute that aims to monitor and impact the UN social policy debate.
Human Rights Watch, along with the other pro-abortion organizations, use the “universal right to maternal health to pressure these countries to amend their pro-abortion legislation … which is outside their purview,” Singson told The Interim. They are using the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal 5, which aims to improve maternal health, to “accuse countries of not doing their utmost to repeal restrictions to abortion”, especially those with the toughest restrictions in the world, such as Nicaragua.
Singson said the pro-abortion activism of human rights organizations come with a cost. “It is being brought up at the expense of (the) programs that focus on skilled birth attendants and emergency obstetrics care.”