06/13/2007, 00.00
VATICAN
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Card Martino expresses “strong disapproval” for Amnesty’s “pro-abortion turn-about”

For the prelate the decision by the human rights organisation is a betrayal of its institutional goals and will end funding from Catholic sources.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Card Renato Martino, chairman of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, has expressed his “strong disapproval” for the “pro-abortion about-turn” taken by Amnesty International. In an interview with National Catholic Register, the prelate said that the decision by the human rights organisation to back the decriminalisation of abortion constitutes a betrayal of its institutional goals. One consequence of that decision will be an end to funding by Catholic organisations and individuals, the cardinal said.

“The fact that pro-abortion lobbyists continue to promote the right to abortion is a phenomenon associated with what the Servant of God [John Paul II] called ‘the culture of death’ . . . It is hard to believe that Amnesty International has acquiesced to the pressures of this lobby.”

The decision should however strengthen the resolve of Catholics’ and all people of god to defend the right to life of all future children irrespective of impossible distinctions that can made between justifiable and non justifiable killing of children in a mother’s womb. For the cardinal, voluntarily ending an innocent human life is always a crime and undermines the common good of the human family at its foundations.

The cardinal’s interview came in the wake of Amnesty International’s decision to adopt its own position vis-à-vis some aspects regarding abortion which it formulated after consulting its national branches, various groups and associates.

Amnesty wants states to modify or abrogate laws that would subject women to imprisonment or legal sanctions if they had or tried to have an abortion. For the organisation, states should instead guarantee access to safe and legal abortion services when a pregnancy is caused by rape or incest or when it may put at risk the life or health of the woman. States should not only guarantee women the possibility of resorting to a safe abortion but should also prevent all serious violations of human rights that might stem from denying that possibility.

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