The debate surrounding abortion is understandably complex and polarizing.
The rights of the mother, the rights of the child, even the rights of the doctor tug the abortion debate from one side of the ideological spectrum to the other as each demands the rights of one precedes the rights of the others.
As of late, it’s become increasingly commonplace on the international stage for the rights of the mother to precede those of all the others – but to the extreme.
Now, according to the United Nations, it seems that pro-life laws fall under the definition of “torture” and should be forbidden by the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Another recent U.N. report calls Ireland’s abortion ban both cruel and discriminatory to women.
Even the conscience rights of doctors and nurses are being threatened at the United Nations, which could force them to perform abortions in direct violation of their faith.
Cruel. Discriminatory. Torture.
Those are strong words that have far reaching implications.
Can the denial of abortion really be defined as torture?
According to the Convention, “torture” is “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person.”
In the Middle East, women and young girls of minority faiths are sold into sex slavery. They are raped. They are brutalized. They are killed.
What those women endure is torture. It is the intentional act in which severe pain or suffering – both physical and mental – is inflicted on them daily.
A child being intentionally burned to death by chemicals, poisoned, or dismembered perfectly falls under the U.N.’s definition of torture, yet an unborn child’s right to life is denied.
How is it that we’ve come to the point that a label such as “torture” is applied to someone being told they cannot end another human life? How is it that we’ve come to the point that the word “war” is used to describe women’s issues in the West when there is an actual war being waged on women in the Middle East – a war where real lives are lost? How is it that we’ve come to the point that doctors are told they must violate their consciences in order to retain their jobs? How?
The answer is not simple. But, I believe that we’ve come to this point largely because society no longer places value on life.
As a mother I’ve experienced firsthand what it is like to carry, deliver, and sustain another human life. The energy it takes, the commitment, the emotions, the sacrifices. It’s not easy. And because it’s not easy, it drives people to either fully embrace the humanity of an unborn child or to reject it completely – reducing that life to a mere fetus, a clump of cells.
The moment we remove the humanity of a child, we deny that the distinctiveness of humanity exists. And once humanity and personhood is stripped from the least of us, it is stripped from all of us. We become nothing but mere animals. There can be no distinction.
And if we are simply animals - without conscience, without conviction, only driven by primal urges – then the right of the mother to kill her offspring for whatever reason exists.
But, we are not mere animals - a fact that the U.N. acknowledges.
Throughout the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the dignity of human life is affirmed, even stating its recognition of the “inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”.
The United Nations is exactly correct: maintaining the inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world.
Will you join with the ACLJ in defending the rights of the most innocent? Fight with us by signing your name to our petition and put a stop to any effort at the U.N. to criminalize the pro-life movement at home and abroad.
We’re working directly at the U.N. to defend the lives of the unborn and the Church. Support our pro-life work with a tax-deductible gift.
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