by Steven Ertelt
A United Nations committee is coming under fire today from a British pro-life group that says it is attacking the Catholic Church and pressuring it to support abortion.
Officials with the England-based Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) say the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child overstepped its mandate in its pro-abortion attack on the Catholic Church. SPUC is recognised officially by the UN as a non-governmental organization (NGO), and provides most of the pro-life lobbying efforts at the UN institutions in New York and Geneva.
SPSC was responding to a report published today by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which attacked the Catholic Church’s teachings on abortion under the guise of a critique of the Church’s handling of child sex abuse cases. As SPUC informed LifeNews by email, the UN report, among similar things, recommends that the Catholic Church identify “circumstances under which access to abortion services can be permitted” (section 55) and “overcome[s] all the barriers and taboos surrounding adolescent sexuality that hinder their access to sexual and reproductive information, including on family planning and contraceptives” (section 57a).
John Smeaton, SPUC’s chief executive, who is in New York with Peter Smith, one of SPUC’s UN lobbyists, commented: “The committee has overstepped its mandate by making demands well beyond the scope of the actual wording of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. There is nothing in the Convention which requires the Catholic Church or any other body to facilitate abortion…”
“There is a great deal of hypocrisy in the committee’s report. Under the cover of seeking to protect children against sexual abuse, the report promotes damage to children – the destruction of unborn children through abortion and the destruction of born children’s innocence through the promotion of contraception…,” Smeaton added.
The British pro-life advocate concluded: “The Holy See’s representatives made clear to the committee last month, Catholic leaders are facing up to the shocking child abuse scandals within the Church. Pro-life and pro-family groups throughout the world must – like SPUC – come to the UN to help the Holy See in its vital work of protecting unborn children and the marriage-based family. This work is under constant attack by the Catholic Church’s enemies, as manifested in the committee’s report today.”
The controversial UN report can be read at http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CRC/Shared%20Documents/VAT/CRC_C_VAT_CO_2_16302_E.pdf