Monday, 24 October 2016

Poland's Stop Abortion Citizens' Initiative sought to uphold international law

I have just returned from fact-finding trip to Poland with SPUC's international team where we were hosted by the Ordo Iuris team which led the recent Stop Abortion Citizens' Initiative supported by nearly half a million Polish citizens. Whilst in Warsaw, the SPUC team were invited to address a press conference convened in connection with our visit. This is what I said:
I am very disappointed that the Stop Abortion Citizens’ Initiative was sadly stopped in its tracks by the party leadership pressure in Poland including pressure on the Polish bishops. [The Stop Abortion Citizens’ initiative was supported by nearly half a million Polish citizens and sought to make abortion in Poland completely unlawful.]

Today is the feast day of St John Cantius who was raised up by Providence to keep alight the torch of faith and the flame of Christian charity in the 15th century in Poland. The Stop Abortion initiative has been raised by Providence to keep alight the teaching of the Church on the inviolability of the sanctity of human life from conception and Christian charity in the 21st century by proposing legislation designed to defend the lives of the weakest, most vulnerable children in the world - those who are disabled and those who are conceived as a result of a crime such as rape, as well as providing for greater support for mothers to be facing difficult pregnancies.
In launching their initiative Ordo Iuris and their pro-life allies were seeking to implement Article Three of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights which upholds the right to life.
Article Two of the UNDHR states “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” And Article Six states: “Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.” After the tragic experience of the Second World War and Nazi Germany, the drafters of the Universal Declaration wanted to ensure that legislators could never treat a particular group of people as “non-persons”, such as unborn children.
The right to life of unborn children is also upheld in the 1959 Declaration of Human Rights and in the 1989 Convention on Human Rights which states in its preamble: “Bearing in mind that, as indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, "the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth".
Currently Poland permits abortion in certain circumstances. The logical outcome of legalised abortion in certain circumstances is that abortion becomes available in all or any circumstances. Imagine if in Poland you had legislation which permitted a particular racial or religious group to be killed. It's obvious that in such a situation everybody's human rights would be threatened because unequivocal respect for the dignity of human life had been removed from your statutes.
The only thing which really protects society's weakest, most vulnerable human beings, are moral absolutes. Once legislators accept that it's OK directly to kill an innocent child in the womb, the defence against killing any unborn child is torn away.
What is being done in Poland by Ordo Iuris and their pro-life allies is to make the idea of stopping abortion completely in Poland completely normal - because it really is normal not to kill children.
Future generations will take that fact for granted and will look at what is happening today with horror and utter disbelief.

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