The Center for Reproductive Rights, a non-governmental organization that advocates for legalized abortion, is urging the United Nations Committee Against Torture to tell the Catholic Church that “the freedom of speech and of religion” do not give the church the right to advocate against abortion.
When the committee met in Geneva on Monday for a hearing on the Vatican’s compliance with the Convention Against Torture, Vice Chairperson Felice Gaer, an American, said in her opening statement that laws that ban all abortion—which is the position of the Catholic Church–may violate the convention. She also repeated verbatim some language that had been in a letter the CRR had sent to the committee on April 11.
Gaer, however, did not quote the section in CRR’s letter that urged the committee to tell the church that the freedoms of religion and speech did not give the church a right to advocate against abortion.
CRR’s letter included several recommendations for how the Committee Against Torture should deal with Catholicism.