U.N. Committee Calls Catholic Stance on Abortion ‘Torture’; Nets Silent

Broadcast news shows fail to mention UN attack on religious liberty.

It turns out President Obama is a moderate after all – at least in one matter. Remember when he said of abortion, “I don’t want my daughters punished with a baby?” Well, to one U.N. committee, the Roman Catholic religious doctrine against abortion may just be – get this – “torture.” 

A United Nations Committee Against Torture questioner called the Catholic Church’s stance against abortion “psychological torture” of women during Geneva hearing on May 5, Catholic Voices USA’s Ashley E. McGuire told The Washington Examiner. ABC, CBS and NBC have yet to cover the story during any of their broadcast news shows. 

While NBC’s “Today” reported the United Nations hearings on May 7, the network only addressed the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal “being handled by a United Nations committee on torture.” 

“Classifying sexual abuse as torture,” anchor Natalie Morales cautioned, “could expose the Catholic Church to a new wave of lawsuits.” She said nothing on the more sinister move by the committee to make opposing abortion tantamount to torture. 

In contrast, McGuire warned that the committee was “setting the stage that if you are pro-life you are pro-torture.” She noted abortion as “among the most egregious forms of torture that can be perpetuated against a child” and called out the United Nations for hypocrisy. “Attacking the church's moral and religious beliefs violates the religious liberty of the church, a human right which the United Nations affirms,” she said. Continues after the video.

According to LifeSiteNews, a committee spokesperson Felice Gaer, Director of The American Jewish Committee’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, went so far as to suggest blame on the Catholic Church's doctrine for nine-year-old rape victims giving birth. Gaer explained, “This committee has found repeatedly that laws that criminalize the termination of pregnancy in all circumstances can violate the terms of the convention [on torture].” 

In a report published last month, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan E. Méndez, wrapped the committee’s totalitarianism in a cloak of diplomat-speak woven with politically correct academic drivel. The Committee, he wrote, examined “gender-specific forms of torture with a view to ensure that the torture protection framework is applied in a gender-inclusive manner.” Under “Reproductive Rights Violations,” the report listed “denial of legally available health services such as abortion and post-abortion care” as an example. 

Ironically, the United Nations’ complete definition of torture listed on its website and in its 1984 torture convention declaration reads:  

For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. 

According to The Population Research Institute’s Steven Mosher, the U.N. Committee Against Torture draws information from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and anti-Catholic NGOs like The Center for Reproductive Rights, which “is in the forefront of groups which maintain that the position of the Catholic Church on contraception and abortion constitute a kind of torture.” Mosher explained to LifeNews.com that the committee’s chairman, Claudio Grossman, also boasts a “long history” of abortion advocacy. 

In addition to the networks’ silence on the story, AP omitted the U.N.’s “torture” attack on the Catholic Church's abortion dogma and focused, and NBC did, on sexual abuse.

— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.