CATHOLIC SCHOOLS in Northern Ireland are breaking their ties with Amnesty International following the organization’s decision to advocate abortion as a human right.

Next month the Irish bishops will meet to discuss whether or not any of the Church’s schools should maintain links with AI, but moves by some schools in Belfast would indicate that it is a foregone conclusion that the policy throughout the country will be to drop AI in favour of other human rights groups. The auxiliary bishop of Down and Connor, Donal McKeown said that his diocese had already taken the view that it would be inappropriate for Catholic schools to continue supporting Amnesty.

“Amnesty’s espousal in recent months of campaigning for abortion access in limited circumstances will leave many people in a difficult situation, ” he said. “All we are saying here is that it seemed inappropriate in those circumstances for Catholic schools to be promoting the organisation.”

The deepening rift between many current members and AI over its pro-abortion stance will have longer-lasting implications for the organization: since its formation by the Catholic Peter Benenson in 1961, it has become common for Catholic schools to establish an AI group of their own, or to at least support the organization’s campaigns and many former pupils have gone on to support the organization after they left school. With its decision to divide its membership base, AI is likely to lose the prospect of longer term supporters.

In Canada, the Catholic Bishops Conference is also expected to make a strong statement condmening Amnesty’s aborion move when it meets in October. Last week St Basil’s Secondary School in Ontario, Canada announced that it would no longer have ties with its local AI group.

In Australia the Bishops have already called for AI to reverse its policy and in August St Aloysius College in Sydney, Australia announced that it would disband its Amnesty International group and instead establish a Benenson Society at the school to campaign for human rights.

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BELOW ARE some of the views being posted around the web on Amnesty International’s decision on abortion. More will follow. Also see Consistent Life’s page for more links. It might be worth pointing out that the quotes here come from a variety of sources: Pro-Life sources, Christian sources, Muslim blogs, and blogs with no links to any religious or pro-life group. Amnesty International’s position is made clear in the documents it tried to cover up in April.

“Violence cannot be answered with further violence; murder with murder; for even if the child is unborn, it is still a human person. It has a right to dignity as a human being.” Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone as reported by Spero News

“If Amnesty International becomes an organisation which affirms the right to abortion, even under certain circumstances, it is free democratically to do so. But it cannot expect those of us who are just as passionate about the human rights of the unborn child to feel at ease being part of such an organisation.” – Rt Rev Michael Evans as reported in the Times of London

“By its actions Amnesty International has shown that in today’s world what determines a “human right” is based on ideology rather than human dignity.” – John Mallon, Human Life International

“It is a tragedy that AI has adopted abortion as a human right. It has now placed in jeopardy the wonderful work that it has performed.” Right to Life, New Zealand

“I think it sad that Amnesty should get involved with something that simply isn’t in its remit; it will inevitably compromise the good work it does.” Nova et Vetera blog


There are a couple of links to sites covering the decision about abortion that Amnesty International is attempting to keep secret below. If you have time over the holiday weekend why not tell Amnesty what you think of their decision (click here).

Consistent Life pleads with Amnesty International, Consistent Life

US Amnesty International adopts secret pro-abortion policy, “Not to be made public”, Lifesite News

Amnesty International’s dirty little secret, First Things


So it would appear that Amnesty International has taken the tragic decision to advocate abortion as a “human right” (see comment on the post below), but is so concerned about the fuss that will be made that it does not want to officially say anything. In line with Amnesty’s own campaign to prevent censorship of the web, here is a letter posted on the AIUSA members’ website (their emphasis):

Dear Volunteer Leaders,
Amnesty International’s International Executive Committee (IEC) has adopted a new position on Sexual and Reproductive Rights that includes support for abortion in very particular circumstances, in the context of our work to stop grave human rights abuses against women and girls. This new policy, which grew out of our campaigning to stop violence against women and the tragic circumstances in which women all too often find themselves, will enable the organization to:
Support women who seek a safe, early medical termination of pregnancy in cases of rape, incest or when a woman’s life or health is at grave risk.
Urge governments to make medical care available to women who suffer complications from unsafe abortions;
Oppose imprisonment and other criminal penalties for abortion against women and their providers.

It is very important to be aware of the following: This policy will not be made public at this time. (more…)

Women for Life International has become the latest group to oppose Amnesty International’s proposals to advocate abortion as a human right and warned that, if passed, the proposals would set a precedent for unfettered “fetal genocide” and exploit women worldwide.

Molly White, co-founder of the North American based group, said: “The proposed policy is not only in direct conflict with the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights … but adoption of such a policy would set a precedent for worldwide, unfettered fetal genocide; worldwide exploitation of pregnant women, especially poor women; and a worldwide epidemic of violence against women and the girl child.”


Amnesty International risks becoming complicit in one of civilization’s greatest human rights abuses and taking the side of tyrants, according to the world’s largest pro-life movement.

Human Life INternational President Fr T. EuteneuerSpeaking just days after Amnesty International UK’s vote to support advocating abortion as a human right, Human Life International’s president Father Thomas Euteneuer warned the organization that if it dropped its neutral stance on abortion it would become its “own enemy, and become complicit in one of the greatest human rights abuses of all time: abortion on demand.”

He continued: “It was bad enough they were neutral on the crime of abortion in the first place, but if they drop even that they switch sides to stand on the side of tyrants and genocide.

“The failure to see the plight of the unborn for the injustice that it is represents a grave moral blindness, not a sensitivity to the oppressed.” (more…)

A CANADIAN BISHOP has said that plans for AI to advocate abortion is “an ill-conceived proposal and a gross betrayal of Amnesty’s mission to campaign for human rights.”

Bishop Fred HenryWriting in the Calgary Sun and posting on the Western Catholic Reporter’s website, Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary also said that the argument being proposed that a pro-abortion stance would go some way to stopping violence against women is the “height of stupidity”.

In his article Bishop Henry rehearses many of the arguments already outlined in previous posts, notably that the move would contravene Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that any move would severely damage the reputation and standing of AI.

In July the Canadian bishops condemned AI’s proposals and warned that “it would be a step backwards for an organization that has done such outstanding work in defending human life and the rights of the most vulnerable.”

Bishop Henry was one of the first bishops in Canada to speak out against AI’s proposals.

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