August, 2001 - The United Nations Human Rights Committee concluded its seventy-second session last Friday and issued its final conclusions and recommendations, including a demand that Guatemala legalize abortion.
In its recommendations to Guatemala the committee said the Central American country "must guarantee the right to the life of pregnant women who decide to interrupt their pregnancies." The committee also ordered the country to provide pregnant women with "the information and the means necessary to guarantee these rights." Finally it said that Guatemala must protect the right to life of women by "amending the law to establish exceptions to the general prohibition against all abortion, except where the mother is in danger of death."
The committee was reacting to Guatemala's constitution, which guarantees the right to life of the unborn. In Guatemala's report to the UN committee, the country states, "With respect to freedom and security of person, the Guatemalan Constitution states: 'Article 3. Right to life. The State guarantees and protects human life from the time of conception, as well as the integrity and security of the person.'"
The committee complained that the criminalization of abortion "creates serious problems, mainly in light of uncontested information on the high incidence of maternal mortality, of clandestine abortions, and the lack of information on the family planning."
Earlier this month LifeSite reported that Canada has put two million dollars into a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) campaign targeting Guatemala for chemical abortion advocacy. Mercedes Wilson, formerly the official delegate of Guatemala to the United Nations, said, "It is horrible that Canadian taxpayers are going to pay for something that will do so much harm to our country." Wilson said that UNFPA's activities in the largely Catholic country are to promote abortifacient birth control pills (such as morning-after pills) and to advocate for the decriminalization of abortion. Referring to the population control component of the UNFPA plan, Wilson said, "The West has taken everything away from poor countries. The last thing we have left is our children and our faith. The West is taking away our faith and now our children-- our means of social security."