Friday, November 12, 2010
Venzor: "Protecting the Unborn Child: The Current State of International Law Concerning the So-Called Right to Abortion and Intervention by the Holy See"
Thomas Venzor has posted "Protecting the Unborn Child: The Current State of International Law Concerning the So-Called Right to Abortion and Intervention by the Holy See" (forthcoming Nebraska Law Review) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This article reviews the current state of international human rights law on the issue of abortion.
This paper proposes that there are three areas where the "right" to abortion might be invoked (i.e., mother's life; preservation of the mother's health; mother has suffered rape or incest). Outside of these three situations, any legal notion that access to abortion ought to be a human right is mostly unfounded and, perhaps, wishful thinking. Furthermore, although these three situations would hold the best argumentative grounds for a right to abortion, it remains difficult to claim that these situations would actually qualify to the extent of a right under international law.
Part I discusses the current state of legal affairs on the so-called right to abortion. Part I analyzes the international system of human rights, namely, the United Nations. Part I also analyzes regional systems of human rights, namely, the European Convention on Human rights and the Organization of American States.
Part II discusses the role of the Holy See within international human rights. Part II gives a general overview of the Holy See's historical role in human rights, a general overview of its cohesive and immutable teaching on abortion, and analyzes what the Holy See, as a Permanent Observer to the United Nations, can offer human rights discourse concerning the issue of abortion.
In conclusion, the current state of the law should not be read as elevating abortion to the level of an international human right. However, the reality that it could attain such a status is not out-of-the-question. Because of this, it is necessary for the Holy See to remain a prominent figure in this heated and passionate dialogue.