Amnesty International Canada is joining the global human rights watchdog’s New Zealand and British branches in advocating for abortion.

During its annual general meeting May 27-28, the Canadian branch endorsed a proposal by international headquarters, asking if Amnesty International should begin advocating for a global right to abortion.

Amnesty has proposed actively fighting against the right to life for unborn children by using its resources to promote a so-called “right to abortion.” In its Sexual and Reproductive Rights Consultation Kit, Amnesty includes a “Draft Policy Statement on Sexual and Reproductive Rights.” The policy includes the demand that, “Governments must refrain from denying or limiting equal access to sexual and reproductive health services.” The statement ominously adds, “They must act with due diligence to punish abuses of sexual and reproductive rights by private persons, organizations and other non-state actors.”

Strangely, for a “human rights” group, the draft policy also seeks to violate the conscience rights of healthcare workers: “The right of individual health care professionals to object on grounds of conscience to providing certain information and services does not absolve them or the health care system for which they work from taking immediate steps to ensure that the necessary treatment is given without delay.”

Reaction from pro-life and religious leaders, as well as grassroots pro-life supporters, both in Canada and abroad, has been highly critical. Calgary’s Catholic Bishop Fred Henry called the move “an ill-conceived and gross betrayal of their mission to campaign for human rights.” Conferences of Catholic bishops in Canada and India have condemned the move and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada said that Amnesty International’s abortion advocacy would likely result in a reduction of support and donations from faithful Christians who see a contradiction between supported human rights and extinguishing human life. Some pro-life groups report that letters accompanying donations have noted the donor was transferring his regular contribution from Amnesty International to those who defend human life, the most important human right.

Campaign Life Coalition national president Jim Hughes stated in his July CLC National Newsletter that Amnesty International “risks losing much of its support among abortion opponents, for whom human rights are a high priority.” He urged pro-life supporters of Amnesty to cease their moral and financial support and contact the organization to let it know why.

Despite the concerns expressed by pro-life and Christian leaders, it appears Amnesty International remains adamant in its support for abortion advocacy at its international council meeting next year. reported on May 26 that the reason Amnesty is entering the world of abortion advocacy stems from its support for women’s and homosexual rights. LifeSiteNews made the shocking revelation after it obtained copies of a form letter Amnesty sent to supporters who contacted them objecting that abortion violates the rights of the unborn. Amnesty wrote that its proposal to support “sexual and reproductive rights” stems from its “global campaign to Stop Violence against Women, as well as its work on HIV/AIDS, on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, economic, social and cultural rights and on related issues.”