Autor: ---- Fuente: C-FAM (Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute)

Unusual admissions were made yesterday by a member of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, a UN committee watchdog that monitors compliance with the Convention of the same name (CEDAW). The CEDAW Committee is notorious for pressuring countries to liberalize their laws on abortion. However, at yesterday's meeting, Hungary's representative called abortion "bad for women," and said that in the future, abortion will come to be seen the same way that "torture" is currently viewed in the area of human rights.

The Committee has convened for its 33rd session to examine the progress reports of six countries including Gambia, Benin and Israel. The Convention specifies that the reports of the Committee are mere "suggestions and recommendations" that are not binding upon states. However, in recent years the pro-abortion reports of the Committee have been lauded by feminist advocacy groups as legally binding and as creating an international right to abortion.

Yesterday's session on Ireland progressed in the usual manner with Vice Chairperson Silvia Pimentel of Brazil demanding answers as to why in Ireland, "women's health remains jeopardized by the lack of availability of abortion." She suggested that the government should "allow a referendum" on the issue, as opinion polls demonstrate "widespread public support for liberalization of abortion." According to Pimentel, the alternative to the liberalization of abortion laws will be continued "suffering and risk for large-numbers of women."

However, in an unusual twist, Krisztina Morvai of Hungary seemed to express dissatisfaction with the Committee's relentless focus on widening the availability of abortion. Speaking soon after Pimentel, Morvai said, "One thing that is invisible and lost in the debate is that abortion is bad for women."

Morvai then added, "No woman actually wants to have an abortion. We have this illusion that women have free choices. But abortion is a terribly damaging thing psychologically, spiritually and physically." She stated that she hopes one day that "abortion will be the past," and that it will be considered "like torture in the field of human rights."

Morvai also called for a greater focus on the "responsibility of men" for the number of abortions. At an earlier session on Lebanon, Morvai explained that according to one study, the majority of women choosing an abortion did so because their partners did not support their pregnancy.

The 23 members of the Committee are elected to four-year terms by the 180 countries that are parties to CEDAW. The members sit on the Committee in their personal capacity as experts on the issues involved.
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