Comment by CCCB on Amnesty International Canada

Monday, July 17 2006

According to a public statement by Amnesty International Canada, posted 26 June 2006, Amnesty International will be discussing at meetings this summer and in 2007 whether to include access to abortion services as part of its human rights campaigns (see “Amnesty International Canada’s consultations regarding sexual and reproductive rights – June 2006” at

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops would find it most regrettable if Amnesty International were to adopt a position promoting access to abortion. Such a change in policy would be considered by the Catholic Bishops of Canada to be a step backwards for an organization that has done such outstanding work in defending human life and the rights of the most vulnerable. This change in policy would make it difficult for Catholics to continue supporting the work of Amnesty International.

As clearly and consistently affirmed in the teachings of the Catholic Church, the purposeful destruction of the human embryo is immoral.

A pastoral message issued in November 2005, entitled “To be People of Life and for Life”, by the Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, states:

“As Pope John Paul II wrote in Evangelium Vitae, no. 78, Christians are called to be ‘people of life and for life….’ This involves choosing life in small ways and large, standing up for life even when it is small and fragile, like the embryo, and supporting couples who struggle …. The Scriptures proclaim that faith and life are integrally related.”

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