A group of lawyers, ethicists, and government officials from a number of countries came together to respond to a growing effort by United Nations committees and officials to force nations to increase access to abortion.
This group has created and released the San Jose Articles to respond to this pro-abortion effort.
It hasn’t gotten a great deal of press, and it should.
In the press conference at the United Nations, the signatories of the San Jose Articles pointed out that there is no United Nations resolution that demands an increase in abortion access. Yet, some UN officials have behaved as if there is:
Asked to specify what United Nations treaties and officials had recently pointed to a right to abortion under international law, Mr. Ruse said that a few weeks ago, the Special Rapporteur on Health and the High Commissioner for Human Rights had made statements to that effect. In addition, Kosovo, Timor-Leste, Kenya and other nations that had signed United Nations treaties were increasingly being told that they must legally uphold abortion rights based on non-discrimination, public-health and reproductive-health grounds. Mr. Rees added that the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) were also promoting abortion rights. (Press conference on launch of San Jose Articles, 10/6/2011)
This is important – no such ‘right to abortion’ exists under international law, yet the United Nations has officials claiming it does and those officials are bullying smaller countries and governments.
In their own words, why they felt the need to respond:
Why the San Jose Articles?
It is now commonplace that people around the world are told there is a new international right to abortion.
Those who receive this message are people who have the power to change abortion laws; parliamentarians, lawyers, judges and others.
Those delivering this message are influential and believable people; UN personnel, human rights lawyers, judges and others.
The assertion they make is false. No UN treaty makes abortion an international human right.
Even so, the assertion is gaining traction around the world. The high court of Colombia changed their country’s abortion laws based on this false assertion. More are considering such a change.
The purpose of the San Jose Articles is to provide expert testimony that no such right exists. The San Jose Articles were prepared an a group of 31 experts in international law, international relations, international organizations, public health, science/medicine and government. The signers include law professors, philosophers, Parliamentarians, Ambassadors, human rights lawyers, and delegates to the UN General Assembly.
The purpose of the San Jose Articles is also to demonstrate that the unborn child is already protected in human rights instruments and that governments should begin protecting the unborn child by using international law.
We hope that experts around the world will place a copy of the San Jose Articles on their desks and that the next time they hear this false assertion they share this expert testimony.
It is also our hope that the San Jose Articles will begin to appear in law review articles, in Parliamentary resolutions and in the debate of the UN General Assembly.
Finally, it is our fervent hope that governments will begin to utilize their right to refer to existing international law to protect the unborn child from abortion.
Those who make the false assertion that there is new international right to abortion have had the microphone too long.
The San Jose Articles take that microphone away.