American activist organization assists with push for expanded abortion law in Ireland

The Center for Reproductive Rights, an American activist organization based in New York, is assisting three women who are approaching the United Nations in an attempt to force Ireland to expand its newly-minted abortion law to include abortion for reasons of foetal abnormality likely to result in the death of the child soon after birth.  They are also supported by an Irish “Doctors for Choice” group. [Irish Central] [The Guardian]

Lost in Translation: The Failure of the International Reproductive Rights Norm

 Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D.

CFAM has posted a three part series based on a new paper just published in the Ave Maria Law Review.

Part One: A Norm is Born

NEW YORK, September 13 (C-FAM) For decades, powerful countries and wealthy foundations conducted a campaign to create a global standard for abortion rights. Despite their efforts, the phrase “reproductive health” has been adopted, but not an international norm of reproductive rights. [CFAM Part 1]

Part 2: Reproductive Health Doesn’t Include Abortion . . . But It

NEW YORK, September 20 (C-FAM) The term “reproductive health” seeped without fanfare into UN language in 1972 when it was adopted by Jose Barzelatto, the inaugural head of WHO’s program on human reproduction.  Its first appearance in a UN document was a World Health Organization (WHO) report 20 years later by Barzelatto’s successor, Mahmoud Fathalla. His sprawling description of the term contained “fertility regulation,” which for WHO included “pregnancy interruption,” that is, abortion. [CFAM Part 2]

Part 3: No Norm, No Right

NEW YORK, September 27 (C-FAM) In 2006, the term “reproductive health” made it into a binding international law treaty for the first time, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. While this was a victory for the reproductive rights movement, it produced mixed results.

Twenty-three nations opposed the term. After it was reluctantly included, fifteen made statements reminding the term’s proponents what they had assured them throughout the negotiations: that the term “reproductive health” did not include abortion or create any new rights. [CFAM-Part 3]



El problema de la objeción de conciencia no regulada

Cuando la conciencia molesta a la ley

Sean Murphy*

A finales de 2010, en la Asamblea Parlamentaria del Consejo de Europa (PACE) se presentó un informe de su Comisión de Asuntos Sociales, Salud y Familia en el que expresaba su profunda preocupación por el problema de la “objeción de conciencia no regulada” en Europa. El Comité propuso que los Estados adoptaran “una regulación integral y clara” para hacer frente a este problema. . .[aceprensa]

The problem of unregulated conscientious objection

  Sean Murphy*

In late 2010, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) was presented with a report from its Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee expressing deep concern about the problem of “unregulated conscientious objection” in Europe.  The Committee proposed to solve this problem by having states adopt “comprehensive and clear regulations” to address it.

The Council ultimately adopted a resolution that almost completely contradicted the premises of the report, but in 2011 the theme was resurrected by Dr. Leslie Cannold, an Australian ethicist.  Dr. Cannold warned that, “[a]t best, unregulated conscientious objection is an accident waiting to happen,” and, at worst, “a sword wielded by the pious against the vulnerable with catastrophic results.”  It was, she wrote, “a pressing problem from which we can no longer, in good conscience, look away.” . . .[Full text]