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CGJ to Respond to Draft Comment by United Nations Human Rights Committee

By August 25, 2017December 16th, 2019Uncategorized

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has submitted a new draft General Comment to article 6’s guarantee of the right to life in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that mandates that States provide women access to abortion in certain cases. Article 6 guarantees that “Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.” Despite the guarantee of the right to life for all, and the complete lack of a right to abortion under international law, the Human Rights Committee has overstepped its bounds and mandated that states allow women to abort their children:
States parties must provide safe access to abortion to protect the life and health of pregnant women, and in situations in which carrying a pregnancy to term would cause the woman substantial pain or suffering, most notably where the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest or when the foetus suffers from fatal impairment.[1] States parties may not regulate pregnancy or abortion in a manner that runs contrary to their duty to ensure that women do not have to undertake unsafe abortions.
The General comment will be used by the committee as the authoritative guide on how to interpret Article 6. The Center for Global Justice intends to submit a response to the draft comment in an effort to persuade the committee to remove this language.

[1]   See Concluding Observations: Ireland (2014), para. 9.