Argentina Is Warned About U.N. Protocol

Bishops Say Document Will Promote Abortion

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BUENOS AIRES, FEB. 18, 2005 ( Argentina’s bishops have warned lawmakers of a U.N. protocol that will impede national sovereignty.

The National Secretary for the Family, which is under the Argentine episcopal conference, published a statement this week commenting on the Optional Protocol of the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

The protocol, if adopted by a state, grants supra-national faculties to the CEDAW committee. The committee can then issue denunciations and recommendations against states that do not adjust their legislation to the convention.

The committee has in the past promoted the legalization of abortion and prostitution in countries where those activities were illegal.

In 1999 the committee “manifested to Colombia its concern over the illegality of abortion. In 2001 it recommended to Ecuador to modify the constitution to facilitate abortion,” said the report.

The committee also criticized Croatia and Italy in 1998 “for including clauses in their legislation that respect the freedom of conscience of medical professionals who refuse to practice abortion.”

It has also promoted the legalization of prostitution when it suggested that China, in not allowing prostitution, failed to recognize free choice of profession and employment. “In this way, it includes prostitution within the labor category with all the contradictions that this implies,” added the statement.

Should the protocol be approved, the text says, it would do “violence to the nation’s legislative sovereignty.”

“As CEDAW’s recommendations will have an compulsory character for states, it would oblige them to legislate in keeping with the recommendations, in that case it would put outside the law all activity that is opposed to it,” he added.

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