Friday, July 06, 2007

Amnesty International and Abortion and Human Rights


A debate on access to abortion services for women who have experienced rape and for those whose pregnancy poses a risk to their life or grave risk to their health has been ongoing in Amnesty International (AI) for several years.

The main reason why the issue has been so intensely debated over recent years has been the numbers of women and girls who are being raped as a deliberate weapon of war during campaigns of 'ethnic cleansing'. This happened in Rwanda and Bosnia on a massive scale, and is currently happening in Darfur.

The Irish section will not be working on the issue of abortion, however the AI adopted policy brings AI's work in line with current international human rights law.

The policy that has been adopted argues that states should:
  • Ensure the provision of full information on sexual and reproductive health to women and men
  • Provide legal, safe and accessible abortion in cases of rape, sexual assault, incest and risk to a woman's life, or grave risk to her health
  • Repeal laws that permit the imprisonment or imposition of other criminal sanctions on women who have had or sought to have an abortion and repeal laws that seek to criminalise medical practitioners who provide information or abortion services and operate within reasonable medical limitations
  • Provide access to quality medical services for the management of complications arising from abortion

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