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5-DAVID-ALTON

San Jose pro-life articles launched in House of Lords

The nine San Jose Articles, which state there is no right to abortion in international law, were presented to the House of Lords on Monday.

The articles were launched by Lord David Alton of Liverpool, a Catholic, and the queen’s cousin, Lord Nicholas Windsor, at an event sponsored by the All Party Parliamentary Pro-life Group and Right to Life.

The nine articles on the status of the unborn child have been drafted and signed by more than 30 senior politicians, diplomats, lawyers, scholars and public figures from around the world to ‘counter a subversive international campaign to establish legal abortion as a universal human right.’ The aim of the articles is ‘to equip the citizens of countries which uphold the right to life of unborn children to better defend themselves against bullying by the governments, United Nations agencies and other organisations that wish them to change their laws.’

Lord Nicholas, a member of the House of Windsor, and Lord Alton, a crossbench peer, are the co-signatories in the UK along with Professor John Finnis, legal scholar and philosopher of Oxford University, and John Haldane, Professor of Philosophy at St Andrews University, Scotland.

“I see the San Jose Articles as an attempt to draw a line and fight back against a concerted movement which seeks to read a ‘right to abortion’ into standing international law,” Lord Windsor said.

Lord Alton added: “The 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights had its origins in the horrors of the Second World War. It contains a specific commitment to the right to life itself.  The iniquitous campaign to establish abortion as an international human right betrays a lamentable grasp of history and flies in the face of the duty which both States and individuals have to cherish and defend vulnerable life.

“The San Jose Articles are a long overdue international re-assertion of the admirable impulses which gave birth to the 1948 Declaration and to recognise that the greatest of all rights is the right to life itself.”

The San Jose Articles were drafted and first signed in San Jose, Costa Rica, on March 25 this year. They were first formally launched at the United Nations last Thursday and will be launched in the European Parliament on October 24.

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