SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Human rights group Amnesty International will be discredited if it pushes for the decriminalization of abortion worldwide, a senior Vatican official said on Wednesday.
London-based Amnesty, founded by Catholic lawyer Peter Benenson in 1961, has begun consulting its 2 million members around the world on whether it should drop its neutral stance on abortion and start pushing countries to repeal laws that make abortion a crime.
"I have great esteem for Amnesty but doing this, they cut off their hands. I hope they don’t do this because if they do, they are disqualified as defenders of human rights," Cardinal Renato Martino told Reuters in an interview during a visit to Singapore.
Martino, who heads the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Peace and Justice and the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, said Amnesty would lose support from Catholic activists if it defined abortion as a human right.