Grey Thoughts
Amnesty International and Abortion
It seems Amnesty (AI) is moving towards support for abortion as a right. This is one way to lose a lot of support, including mine.
Good to see the Aussies stand up.
Here's my post
Fair Dinkum
The movement of Amnesty International in the direction of recognizing a "right" to kill an unborn child is a matter of great distress to its consistent-life constituency. All those who report on having called AI’s national office in the United States received curt responses stating that AI is maintaining neutrality, in contradiction to the form letters the same people receive after writing to AI. We have found no indication that the phone calls or the letters are being tallied in order to give decision-makers an accurate assessment of the widespread dismay their decisions can cause. The "policy consultation process" the form letter claims to be underway must be problematic when those who call are not having their names and addresses taken down, while being told emphatically that this process is nothing but a rumor.

Accordingly, Consistent Life, an international network for peace, justice and life, is organizing a drive to allow this constituency to be registered and counted (see text below). All those who have ever supported AI are invited to sign it at:

We ask sympathizers to forward this message on to all individuals and listserves who may be interested. Links on web pages and notices in newsletters and newspapers would be much appreciated, along with any other ideas for getting the word out.

The on-line format allows a running tally to be seen by anyone at any time. Tallies will be announced to the media periodically at appropriate points.

Registry of Consistent-Life Supporters
of Amnesty International

We have contributed money or actions to Amnesty International, and want to be able to continue to do so in good conscience. We are distressed about the move to frame abortion as a right, rather than understanding it as a form of violence.

Abortion is violence against unborn children. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child states that every child "needs special safeguards and care, including legal protection, before as well as after birth." [Resolution 1386(XIV) of 20 November 1959]

Abortion is violence against women. Unjust pressures on women become more likely with abortion availability, such as sexual exploitation and lack of services or workplace accommodations for mothers. Large numbers of women have indicated that their abortion was a major trauma for them.

We are afraid Amnesty International could lose its most important asset: its credibility. We support AI's advocacy against the death penalty for the guilty. Will the sincerity of this be discounted by some if AI supports legalizing it for the innocent? "Human rights" can be dismissed as partisan propaganda when used by people advocating some form of violence. Because AI's work is so crucial, the consequences of squandering its well-earned reputation are truly dire.

The proposed stand for medical care for women who have had botched abortions is reasonable, as for women who have suffered torture or rape or any other kind of violence. From our point of view, it is in the same category. The current stand AI takes against coerced abortion is also admirable.

Beyond these, since AI has another large constituency that would keep it from taking our position, the previous long-standing position of neutrality on abortion is a reasonable compromise.
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