I read with some confusion the letter by Clare Bailey MLA regarding abortion (‘We are exporting girls to access healthcare that should be available in NI’, November 22).
She writes “the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child clearly states that the UK government and devolved administrations should ‘decriminalise abortion to ensure that girls have access to safe abortion’”.
I checked my copy of the UN Convention. Imagine my surprise when I could find no reference to abortion there.
A quick internet search revealed that Ms Bailey actually appears to be quoting the comments of a UN committee, not the convention. It’s a common tactic of the pro-abortion lobby to try to conflate remarks by committees with actual international texts which have been signed and ratified.
Human rights committees are not judicial bodies. The International Law Association, various national courts, and an overwhelming consensus of human rights scholars agree the observations of human rights bodies are not legally binding under international law.
Had Ms Bailey actually read the preamble of the UN Convention, which establishes the principles upon which the convention is based, she would see that it clearly refers to (and this time it actually says this) “the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth”.
Criostoir Mac Camlaoich
See link to Clare Bailey letter here.