Tiny, poor nation intimidated again to meet UN abortion demands
Autor: ---- Fuente: LifeSite News

NEW YORK, January 15, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women Tuesday pushed government representatives from Nepal to ensure access to abortion. The same United Nations committee which successfully pushed Nepal to legalize abortion in 2002, has also demanded that imprisoned abortionists who committed abortion prior to its legalization and the mothers who aborted their children prior to the legislation be released.

Pratap Kuman Rathak, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Transport Management for Nepal told the UN committee that Nepal had satisfied the committees request on "reproductive rights" noting that "procedures for safe abortion had been put into effect." A United Nations report on the proceedings quotes Ms. Heisoo Shin (Republic of Korea), Vice-Chairperson of the Committee, saying, "while it was good that the abortion ban had been lifted, if there were no abortion services, lifting the ban would be meaningless."

Another committee member Salma Khan from Bangladesh, queried the Nepalese legislators, "Although the abortion ban had been lifted, were women still in prisons due to abortion-related offences?"

The Nepalese representatives apologetically noted that while the law to allow abortion was passed it took some time before the procedures were approved. The representative assured the UN committee that "Cabinet had now approved the procedures and those were in place." The representative was not prepared however to assure the UN that those in prison for abortion related offences would be released. "After the abortion act, women were no longer imprisoned for safe abortion under certain circumstances. Women were imprisoned for infanticide, however, and cases were pending," he said.

Although the UN claims it does not promote abortions in countries where the practice is against the law, on August 31, 2001, it did just that to Nepal. In its Concluding Observations of the Committee on Nepal, the UN Committee states, "The Committee urges the State party to take remedial action to address the problems of clandestine abortions, unwanted pregnancies and the high rate of maternal mortality. In this regard, the Committee urges the State party to reinforce reproductive and sexual health programmes, in particular in rural areas, and to allow abortion when pregnancies are life threatening or a result of rape or incest." Two months later the House of Representatives passed legislation to legalize abortion. The legislation was rejected by the Senate only to be passed again and carried by a large majority in the House in 2002.
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