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The decision, which will also cover women whose health is at risk from giving birth, follows the use of mass rape as a political weapon in the conflict in Darfur. But [url=http://news.independent.co.uk/health/article2859077.ece]Amnesty has infuriated the Vatican[/url] by expanding its definition of human rights to include access to abortion, prompting leading Catholics to accuse the organisation of having "betrayed its mission".
Oh, Amnesty is my and my girls charity. My family is Catholic. Am I going to hear it at the next family function. Oh boy I am.
I thought AI was primarily concerned with crimes of conscience ?
I know that they initially refused to support Nelson Mandela because of this, and that there was a schism in the organization as a result.
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:[b]I thought AI was primarily concerned with crimes of conscience ? I know that they initially refused to support Nelson Mandela because of this, and that there was a schism in the organization as a result.[/b]
I'm not sure what you mean by "crimes of conscience"...perhaps you mean prisoners of conscience? AI wouldn't work for the release of Nelson Mandela when he was a prisoner of conscience in South Africa because he headed up an organization that used violence as a means to achieve its objective.
AI does work to release people who are imprisoned because of the political beliefs they hold. That is one of their functions. They also monitor and report on human rights around the world.
With reference to the article, to my knowledge AI's mission has never had anything to do with propping up Vatican dogma. It has everything to do with protecting the rights of people whose safety and well-being is threatened by their government or a military organization. This would include providing access to abortion services to women who have been subjected to rape as an instrument of war.
Amnesty has a long history of defending people who are politically active, but who face persecution.
They have never limited their activities to "crimes of conscience".
Whenever a person is persecuted because a right is violated, they may have need of support from organizations such as Amnesty.
Conservative organizations never like it that the notion of "rights" is extended, but it seems obvious that women denied the possibility of abortion and forced to carry fetuses to term, face a kind of persecution. It would be pretty sexist to claim that this particular right is undeserving of protection.
Although I applaud AI's stance, I feel a need to re-frame the argument.
Many social- and small c- conservatives can "eventually" be "okay" about allowing abortions if the woman has been raped or if the fetus' or the woman's health is in danger. It's a tiny step, but for the wrong reasons: damaged goods. (Patriarchy, women and children property of men, men controlling women's bodies, yadda yadda yadda.)
It's nowhere near being pro-choice, but I don't think AI needs to be pro-choice the way most feminists define it. They've taken a stance that the Vatican disagrees with. They must be doing something right, then. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]