UNITED KINGDOM, August 20, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Since Amnesty International officially reaffirmed its pro-abortion policy last weekend, an English bishop has withdrawn his support, thereby signalling that Catholics should begin a boycott of the organization.

Amnesty International, the world’s largest human rights organization, definitively threw away its last chance to rescind its recent abortion advocacy policy at the International Council meeting in Mexico City last weekend. At the end of the meeting on Friday, the organization said that it would continue to promote its new policy of decriminalizing abortion in cases of rape or danger to the mother’s life.

In an August 17 press release, Amnesty stated, “With the prevention of violence against women as its major campaigning focus, Amnesty International’s leaders committed themselves anew to work for universal respect for sexual and reproductive rights.”

It continued, “Amnesty International committed itself to strengthening the organization’s work on the prevention of unwanted pregnancies and other factors contributing to women’s recourse to abortion and affirmed the organization’s policy on selected aspects on abortion (to support the decriminalisation of abortion, to ensure women have access to health care when complications arise from abortion and to defend women’s access to abortion, within reasonable gestational limits, when their health or human rights are in danger), emphasizing that women and men must exercise their sexual and reproductive rights free from coercion, discrimination and violence.”

(To read the August 17, 2007 Amnesty International press release visit the organization’s webpage: http://news.amnesty.org/index/ENGORG500412007 )

In light of the organization’s stubborn commitment to abortion advocacy, Catholic Bishop Michael Evans, head of the church in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, has decided to resign after being a member of Amnesty for 31 years.

Bishop Evans told the BBC, that “If Amnesty International becomes an organisation which affirms the right to abortion, even under certain circumstances, it is free democratically to do so.”

He stated emphatically, “But it cannot expect those of us who are just as passionate about the human rights of the unborn child to feel at ease being part of such an organisation.”

He continued, “It is this move away from neutrality that is causing the problem.”

Since Amnesty considered embracing abortion, Catholic bishops, (including the CCCB), lay organizations and Vatican representative Cardinal Renato Martino have all strongly urged the organization to change its abortion stance or else Catholics would have to withdraw their support. Cardinal Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, warned earlier in June, “I believe that, if in fact Amnesty International persists in this course of action, individuals and Catholic organizations must withdraw their support, because, in deciding to promote abortion rights, AI has betrayed its mission.”

The League urges those canceling their AI memberships because of this decision  to tell the organization the reason, either through their local chapter or through the Canadian office.

– By Elizabeth O’Brien

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