Supporters of Israel are well aware that the United Nations agencies devoted to the defense of human rights are a farce. The world body devotes a disproportionate amount of its time, energy, and influence on efforts meant to undermine the Middle East’s only functional democracy in support of the century-old Arab and Muslim war against Zionism. Its Human Rights Council is a club for tyrants, autocrats, and theocratic murderers but every conceivable excuse is found to pillory Israel while genuine human rights atrocities happening elsewhere in the region and the globe (perpetrated by some of the HRC’s members) scarcely merit a mention, let alone the sort of concerted campaign that is devoted to the cause of delegitimizing Israel. But while that alone is enough to discredit the United Nations as an arbiter of global human rights, it’s not the only proof of its moral bankruptcy. It turns out that the same human rights agency that can’t spare much time to deal with industrial-scale murder going in Syria or the oppression of Tibet by the Chinese, or inside China itself, thinks it has the right to make rulings about social legislation in Ireland.
That’s right, this week the United Nations’ Geneva-based Human Rights Committee issued a ruling demanding that Ireland change its laws and, if necessary, it’s constitution to legalize abortion. The same UN that thinks its none of their business that China still operates a gulag known as the laogai where dissidents are sent to be “re-educated” and worked to death. It’s the same UN that isn’t interested much in the madhouse that is North Korea, that is indifferent to cultural genocide in Tibet, and postures ineffectively as the Assad regime and ISIS slaughter innocents and send millions of Syrians into exile. That UN believes it has a duty to dictate to the Irish about abortion.
Ireland remains a country where the Catholic Church remains a powerful force in its politics and culture. The question of abortion rights is a deeply divisive issue there with many Irish citizens clamoring for an end to bans on abortion. Irish social conservatives were defeated when a referendum approving gay marriage won overwhelming support, and they may eventually lose on abortion, too. Ireland’s anti-abortion law is an outlier in a Europe, where secular liberals dominate and the pressure to conform is considerable.
But one needn’t be a supporter of the pro-life movement to see the decision of the UN as outrageous. For it to intervene in a debate over a social issue going on within a democratic nation is an unconscionable act of interference that calls into question the entire concept of human rights advocacy as practiced by the world body.
It doesn’t matter whether you agree with those Irish liberals that think it unfair that a woman there must travel outside the country to get an abortion. As the New York Times reported, the controversy was driven by the complaints of a woman that had to travel to Britain in order to get a procedure that would end at pregnancy at 21 weeks that would have produced an infant who would have died in the womb or at birth. Thousands of Irishwomen cross the Irish Sea for an abortion in England every year.
Advocates for changing Ireland’s laws believe that anti-abortion statutes are wrong and deny women a right to which they are entitled. But that is a question that the Irish should be allowed to settle for themselves just as other nations have done. We are all entitled to have an opinion about the outcome of that debate, but there is something deeply sinister about the UN’s decision to treat opposition to abortion on demand up until the moment of birth as a form of tyranny. That is true in part because of the advances in medical science that have made it possible for infants to survive outside the womb after more than 20 weeks of pregnancy. But it is also true because taking such a stance essentially delegitimizes faithful Catholics whose religion teaches that abortion is immoral.
Let’s remember that the UN is quite cautious about telling other cultures and faiths in the Third World that their practices toward women are wrong. For example, the UN has mounted no crusade to protect the rights of women in the Muslim world where democracy is absent, and theocrats and authoritarians enable practices that treat females as chattel. The Genocidal policies of Muslim nations and terror groups that are wiping out Christianity in the Middle East draw shrugs or silence from the UN. For some reason, though, the world body feels entitled to dictate to a functioning democracy to change its laws on abortion.
Put in the context with the UN’s long-running jihad against Israel, this latest ruling doesn’t rob the Human Rights agency of its legitimacy because it had none to start with. Yet this ruling ought to be a wakeup call for the West that the UN’s distorted moral compass isn’t merely limited to attacks on Israel and the Jews. It is long past time for genuine democracies to cut off funding to these agencies. In particular, the United States should make it clear that it will no longer subsidize or support any further mad intrusions into the internal affairs of democratic nations while the same so-called human rights activists are mute in the face of genuine atrocities.