U.N. Official for Religious Freedom Agrees with ACLJ in Defense of Pro-Life Conscience Rights
Today, medical professionals around the globe are being forced to violate their consciences or be ostracized and banned from their profession.
For years, the ACLJ has defended the right of medical professionals to not violate their conscience and to be free to object to participating in an abortion – in any form. We have defended and supported the right of freedom of conscience for pharmacists, doctors, and businesses, and continue to advocate for that right internationally.
Just last week, the United Nations (U.N.) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief. Professor Bielefeldt, agreed with the ACLJ’s position that medical staff have the right to contentious objection. In an event hosted by our European affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), Professor Bielefeldt discussed several international human rights laws, and advocated that these laws protect the right of medical professionals to object to participating in abortions.
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” So states Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Professor Bielefeldt argued that we must look at the foundations for human rights and the law of morality to understand the importance of the right of conscientious objection. As stated in the UDHR, conscience is at the core of humanity. It is at the foundation of human rights, and is “closely interwoven with human dignity.”
Professor Bielefeldt further argued that recognizing “conscience” means “respecting . . . all human beings and their potential of responsible agency. And that [it] is something we must ascribe to everyone, and respect in everyone.”
Laws “derive their legitimacy from human dignity; from respect for every human being in their dignity.” Thus, laws that require medical professionals to violate their consciences and perform an abortion are not legitimate. Instead, they disrespect and devalue the very core of human dignity – conscience.
No person should be forced to choose between their humanity and their profession. They should be free to practice humanity in their profession.
This is the core argument we have been making across the globe in defense of the most basic human right – life. It is a powerful statement that your advocacy has reached the top echelons of the U.N., and that a senior U.N. official has publicly stood in solidarity with our pro-life efforts.
We here at the ACLJ continue to stand up for freedom and human dignity. We fight to protect reason and conscience. We aggressively advocate for life. Stand and fight with us.