Khan defends Amnesty’s abortion policy, urges Mexico to protect human rights

2 August 2007 at 10:34 am | Posted in Amnesty International, Human rights, Irene Khan, News, Sydney Peace Prize | Leave a comment

Amnesty International’s Secretary General Irene Khan said that the international human rights group will neither endorse nor disapprove of its policy which supports abortion for women subject to sexual violence, rape or incest.

Khan, the 2006 Sydney Peace Prize recipient, said the policy was inspired by rapes in war zones, Reuters reported. Khan also urged governments to provide safe abortions for women who got preganant as a result of rape, incest or when her life is threatened.

The Roman Catholic Church has urged Amnesty to reverse its decision, threatening to withdraw all support for the group.

Khan said Amnesty’s policy was consistent with the group’s long-standing campaign against violence towards women. She added that  the policy “doesn’t mean that we are in favour of abortion as a right”.

“A policy has been made … that Amnesty should support women to be able to make the decision to terminate pregnancy without fear of violence in these limited cases of sexual violence or where the life of the mother or her health is very seriously threatened,” Reuters quoted Khan as saying.

Separately, the Sydney Peace Prize recipient has also called on the Mexican government to investigate suspected torture and abductions by state officials that took place in the Mexican city of Oaxaca last year.

Khan also said Mexico had failed to protect human rights.


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