More Thoughts on Amnesty International
Thursday, September 13, 2007
**** A response to comment made here ****

Specifically, their document on Stopping Violence Against Women.
Mostly, I'm left with a lot of questions - this document seems intrinsically irrational. Why is the Stop Violence Against Women statement almost entirely focused on one of the most violent acts against women - abortion?

Here's a snip:
Amnesty International supports women in claiming their rights. The lived experience of girls and women including of those with whom we work directly, shows how central are sexual and reproductive rights to their freedoms including their right to be free from gender-based violence and as a remedy where they have been subjected to such violence:
Now, this document is self contradictory. It claims that women have a right to be free from gender based violence, but then goes on to say that denying women access to safe abortions is a violation of their human (not civil) rights. Yet, the problem of Asian countries aborting specifically female babies is so great that there are laws against it (I don't understand, if abortion is merely a choice over one's own body, what the reason for the abortion has to do with anything. Either it is a child, and abortion is murder whether the fetus is boy, girl, Downs Syndrome, etc.; or it is not a child. End of discussion.)

If being drawn and quartered (as in partial birth abortion) because you are a girl is not gender based violence, I don't know what is. The Amnesty International statement does not define particulars of what they consider to be acceptable forms of abortion, so I'm assuming all
methods are allowable, by their standards.

AI states that forced abortions is a grave violation (I totally agree), but then seem to define "forced" as being ordered by an official. What about the coercion a woman might suffer from her family, or the father of her child? If her parents say they will disown her (in many countries, leaving her without any rights whatsoever, without food and shelter, and without identity), isn't that in a way a forced abortion? If the father of the child threatens to beat or kill the woman or child if she gives birth, is that a forced abortion?

Let's not even get into the vague assertions that seem written more to be politically correct than to actually help women.
There are multiple references to "access", and "unreasonable restrictions". What constitutes access? Does AI advocate an abortion mill on every corner, so that a woman is not inconvenienced? If one country, say Ireland, does not have any abortion mills but an Irish lass can visit one in London, is that "access"? Is there a geographical limit - must be able to get their within a day's journey? What is an unreasonable restriction? What is a reasonable restriction?

What constitutes affordable healthcare, anyway? Should it cost no more than 10% of income? 30%?

Where is the AI statement on father's and men's rights? Or a child's right to be free from torture (and not chemically burned in utero, or cut apart)?

Why is it okay to have an abortion for some reasons (rape, incest, etc.) but not others (gender selection)? Again, either abortion is wrong, a moral evil, or it's not. If it is wrong, then all abortions should be prevented. If it is not wrong, than it should be available any where, any time.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/13/2007 07:34:00 AM | Permalink | |