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Amnesty International Fights For The Rights Of Women Violated By War

Amnesty International and the Roman Catholic church appear to be heading for a show down over the contentious matter of abortion. AI has enjoyed the backing of the Vatican since its inception in 1961. Founder Peter Benenson, a British lawyer, was a convert to Catholicism. The Catholic church could withdraw its support of AI which could impact on Amnestyís ability to perform its mission.

Amnesty International has puzzled over the issue of supporting abortion for two years. One can see that the organisation has not taken this step lightly. However, the violation of women in Darfur where rape has become a weapon of war, has persuaded AI that abortion should be supported in the case where these abused women wish to have abortions or where the womanís life could be in danger should the pregnancy continue.

Amnestyís mission is to ístand alongside the victims and survivors of human rights violationí. Amnesty feels that women who are raped as part of a strategic weapon in a war, are having their human rights abused and therefore should be able to have the medical attention that could help them survive these ordeals.

I find it incredibly difficult to understand how the Roman Catholic church could not be concerned for the well being of victims of human rights abuses. I do get the concerns over the right to life. I am pro life myself. But I would weigh the life of the raped and abused woman higher than the life of an unborn, unplanned even unwanted fetus.

Iit is difficult to understand how womenís rights, as in those ravaged by acts of war, could be so irrelevant and unimportant, that their well being is put at risk. It is particularly astonishing to see that the Roman Catholic church could have this stance as none of the policy makers are women. How can men who have no idea, as to the assault these women have had to survive, decide over the well being of women abused by an act of war?

One would presume that the heads of the Catholic church believe that they represent Godís will and are therefore able to act as God would. One surely would find it difficult to believe in a God who would disregard a womanís rights to some help after she has been totally violated.

But then these are members of the same church who in previous generations burnt people at the stake, all in the name and according to the command of the same God. It is presumable now frowned on by the Catholic church. Could they be wrong this time as well?

Letís hope that Amnesty International stands strong and upholds its new mission. Amnesty International is not pro-abortion per se. According to the deputy general secretary of the international human rights group, Kate Gilmore who was quoted in the Independent, they are Ď purely fighting for womenís human rights to be free of fear, threat and coercion as they manage all consequences of rape and other grave human rights violationsí.

I have been supporting AIís campaigns for years, I hope others who have done so as well, will continue to give their support, irrespective of the withdrawal of the endorsement by the Catholic church.

Anja Merret lives in Brighton, UK, having moved across from South Africa just over a year ago.

She now looks after the business interests of her daughter who is a Flash Developer and Accessibility expert. She started a blog at the beginning of the year under the heading of chatting to my generation. Although she is chatting to the baby boomer generation, she sometimes feels that all generations have the same issues to face, they just don't have hearing aids or walking sticks!

One of her pet peeves is the war in Iraq and in fact anything that causes innocent people to get hurt. But she also loves tech stuff, although only as an amateur. She considers herself a Silver Surfer Gadget Geek. She is even considering queuing for an iPhone in the UK later on in the year. But her daughter has offered, so she will only be taking hot food to the Brighton Geeks waiting in line.

Her musings may be found on http://www.anjamerret.com Her observations on personal power and self-development may be found on http://www.pinkblocks.com

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