Amnesty to defy Catholic church over rape victims’ abortion rights
Amnesty International is set to defy the Vatican and risk the wrath of Catholics around the world over its decision to back abortion for rape victims.
Leaders of the international human rights group meeting in Mexico are expected to reaffirm the policy adopted by its executive board in April after two years of soul-searching within the organisation.
The decision, which will also cover women whose health is at risk from giving birth, follows the use of mass rape as a political weapon in the conflict in Darfur. But Amnesty has infuriated the Vatican by expanding its definition of human rights to include access to abortion, prompting leading Catholics to accuse the organisation of having “betrayed its mission”. Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, has threatened that unless Amnesty’s policy is reversed, the Vatican will call upon Catholics worldwide to boycott the organisation.