Major international treaty law, to which Israel is a signatory, provides that pregnant women may not be executed (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Art. 6(5)). There is a clear recognition that the life inside the woman is innocent and may not be sentenced to death with her. It is implicit that the life inside the woman is separate from hers and has a value of its own.
Tragically for women, this international legal provision is generally overlooked - overshadowed as it is by the zeal to give women the “right” to abortion.
It is vital to grasp that abortion is the taking of human life. We need only look at an ultrasound photo of the unborn child to see it. In this day and age we simply cannot say, anymore, that we “did not know.”
Nevertheless, even Israel, whose Basic Laws protect the “sanctity” of life and are founded on the “value of the human being,” liberally provides abortions and allocates significant state funding for this.
There will certainly be circumstances in which termination of a pregnancy will be necessary to protect the woman’s life. There will be cases in which such a termination would be a form of lawful “self-defense.” These circumstances will certainly include instances of such mental distress that carrying a pregnancy to term amounts to “torture” and/ or the woman is in serious danger of taking her own life to escape the situation.
However, instead of being a rare measure taken under serious consideration in desperate circumstances, abortion has become a political issue worldwide. Rather like the right to vote or the right equal pay, abortion has become synonymous with a woman’s “right” to her own body.
This has resulted in a complacent, arrogant and slap-dash attitude by many, including and especially governmental authorities, towards the termination of pregnancy. And this can, and has, resulted in devastation for many of the very women it is supposed to empower.
In its current draft General Comment no. 36 on Article 6 of the ICCPR, the Right to Life, the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) which monitors state adherence to the treaty made a striking statement in regards to national provisions for euthanasia.
The UNHRC said: “the Committee considers that States parties should recognize that individuals planning or attempting to commit suicide may be doing so because they are undergoing a momentary crisis which may affect their ability to make irreversible decisions, such as to terminate their life.”
This statement is so striking because it can be applied directly to women seeking abortion. What is widely disregarded in the pro-abortion camp and, indeed, in the draft General Comment referred to above, is that women planning or requesting abortion “may be doing so because they are undergoing a momentary crisis which may affect their ability to make irreversible decisions such as to terminate their [baby’s] life.”
It is therefore so vitally important to respect women enough to provide with them with the time and space and resources to make an informed choice about their pregnancy. This necessarily involves detailing alternatives such as adoption and presenting them with the help that is readily available to them should they decide to keep their baby. To be casual about it can have devastating effects on women’s lives – and it is against the law.