Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 25, 2007
Amnesty betrayed its mission of supporting rights
Cardinal, Berrigan blasts Peace Prize winner for backing abortion
By Catholic News Service
"I was quite shaken by this change."
- Fr. Daniel Berrigan
In spelling out its new policy Amnesty claimed it supports a right to abortion only for women impregnated by rape or incest or in cases of grave risks to the mother's health or life.
But it said it supports legislation that decriminalizes abortion in all cases because rape victims "face daunting and sometimes insurmountable challenges" if they must prove rape in order to obtain an abortion.
It said the new policy "allows AI to call governments to account for their laws and policies on abortion and to make appropriate public policy recommendations toward the realization of women's human rights."
Martino said that by its new policy Amnesty International "has betrayed all of its faithful supporters throughout the years, both individuals and organizations, who have trusted AI for its integral mission of promoting and protecting human rights."
The cardinal said "it is never justifiable to kill an innocent human life."
"To selectively justify abortion, even in the cases of rape, is to define the innocent child within the womb as an enemy, a 'thing' that must be destroyed," he wrote.
"How can we say that killing a child in some cases is good and in other cases it is evil?"
Amnesty International, founded in 1961 by a British convert to Catholicism, Peter Benenson, is noted for its defence of innocent victims of violence, especially those imprisoned not for crimes but simply because of their beliefs or political views.
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