(United Nations) – El Salvador is currently undergoing something the UN calls the Universal Periodic Review, a fairly new human rights process that looks at countries’ implementation of various human rights treaties.
And even though no UN treaty mentions abortion, ten European countries along with Australia and Canada have criticized El Salvador for its ban on the practice.
Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom each made statements of complaint against El Salvador that were included in the report just released by the Human Rights Council.
According to Rebecca Oas of C-Fam, such pressure has regularly been mounted by European countries, mostly against countries from Latin America.
According to Oas, 92% of the abortion pressure mounted in the UPR process comes from European nations, with 36% coming from five Nordic countries, and Norway alone accounting for 13%.
She reports that 41% come from nine Western European countries, while 15% come from Eastern European countries. Only 3% of the pressure has come from North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel.
Most of the pressure–74%–has been leveled against Latin America countries with Nicaragua taking the brunt at 24%. El Salvador comes second with 14% critical reports with Chile third at 11%.
While no UN human rights treaties mention abortion and only one mentions “reproductive health,” the UN treaty monitoring bodies, which are expert groups elected by states parties to the treaties, have reinterpreted a number of treaties to include a right to abortion.
The Center for Reproductive Rights, an abortion advocacy group active at the UN, applauded criticism of El Salvador. Nancy Northrup, president of CRR, said, “We commend the 12 countries that have called on El Salvador to end the criminalization of essential women’s health care, and we stand with them in all efforts to bring reform and justice to women across the country.”
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Luca Volante, former Chairman of the European Peoples Party in the Parliament of the 47 countries of the Council of Europe said, “It’s an unbelievable approach by EU countries. They know the are falsifying not only international written text but they know very well that on many occasions the European Court of Human Rights has reaffirmed there is no right to abortion.”
He said such maneuvers are a form of “neo-colonialism” that discredits their national governments and he urged the UN Secretary General to oppose such a “disruptive interpretation of foundational human rights.”