I HAD AN email this morning about the blog asking why there was so much information from the Catholic Church. We’re always happy to hear from people and you can email us at saveamnesty @ gmail.com (you’ll need to remove the spaces on either side of the @ symbol – they’re added to reduce spam).

We do have a lot of information from the Catholic Church and the Catholic hierarchy – that is because many of the Church’s statements reflects the position we hold over this issue and the Church has been more vocal about the issue than any other organisation. But we have stressed in the past that this is not just a Catholic matter – and in the blog there are links to comments on the issue from different Christian denominations, other religions, including Islam, and those with no faith. We would be delighted to consider all comments from different religious groups and those with no affinity – and would be grateful for any information on this.

While we freely admit that we object to Amnesty International’s newly adopted abortion policy on moral and ethical grounds, that is far from our only objection and concern; for example, we’ve argued in the past that the policy is:

  • Inconsistent with AI’s s stated aim of protecting human rights;its arguments for other human rights; and inconsistent with international human rights laws, treaties and conventions.
  • Dishonest – AI members were told the consultation process was ongoing and no decision had been taken, when, in fact, a decision had already been taken and confidential AI documents asked that it not be made public.
  • Illogical – it damages the foundations of all the principles that AI has stood for in the past. It argues human rights from a relativist viewpoint. With this policy none of AI’s former principles can be considered absolute.
  • Over-reaching – AI claims that it does not recognise abortion as a human right: why, then is this human rights organisation concerning itself with the issue when so many other organisations are concerned with abortion.
  • Divisive – AI leadership were well aware that the issue would divide their membership. Yet they deliberately went ahead with pushing it through, despite claims that it was not a human right
  • Damaging – to the reputation and probity of AI, due to the leadership’s implementation of the consultation process and the deception of AI members. In its actions in having this policy adopted (leaving aside the policy itself) AI has lost moral high ground.
  • Undemocratic – despite claims of AI spokespeople, no proof has been given that the consultation process was democratic and had was conducted with impartiality – current evidence would suggest it was not.
  • Crippling to other human rights work AI carries out because of the damage to AI’s s status as a principled organisation.
  • Disastrous for human rights as a whole – AI has lost respect and therefore cannot speak with the same authority that it once did. Regimes intent on abusing human rights will be able to point to AI’s own gerrymandering in getting its way: if AI can get round a “right to life” clause, so can any dictatorship or regime.

Many of these arguments are shared by people who do not share our moral objections, but who fear for the future work and reputation of the organisation.

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