Wesley Smith, in an article in The Weekly Standard, notes that there is a move afoot at the United Nations to hold that banning abortion is torture:
Méndez—whose full title is “special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”—just released a report to the General Assembly on torture “in health care settings.” It is a startling read. He brands with that extreme term not only medical actions and omissions that clearly are not torture as most people understand it, but also national policies disfavored by the international ruling class. Thus, “The Committee against Torture has repeatedly expressed concerns about restrictions on access to abortion and about absolute abortion bans as violating the prohibition on torture and ill treatment.” Unstated (but implied) is that pro-life countries like Ireland are committing crimes against humanity.
This absurdity is especially interesting in that Mendez occasionaly earned his bread and butter earlier in his career working for the Church and Church affiliated institutions:
Early in his career, he became involved in representing political prisoners. As a result, he was arrested by the Argentinean military dictatorship and subjected to torture and administrative detention for 18 months. During this period, Amnesty International adopted him as a “Prisoner of Conscience,” and in 1977, he was expelled from the country and moved to the United States.
Subsequently, Mendez worked for the Catholic Church in Aurora, Illinois, protecting the rights of migrant workers. In 1978 he joined the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under the Law in Washington, D.C., and in 1982, he launched Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) Americas Program. He continued to work at HRW for 15 years, becoming their general counsel in 1994. He is also a visiting scholar at American University Washington College of Law’s Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.
From 1996 to 1999, Mendez served as the Executive Director of the Inter-American Institute of Costa Rica. He then worked as a Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at the University of Notre Dame from October 1999 to 2004.
In 2001, Mendez began working for the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), an international human rights NGO. He served as its president from 2004 to 2009, and currently is its President Emeritus. He is also currently the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.
Mendez has taught human rights law at Georgetown Law School, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and the University of Oxford Masters Program in International Human Rights Law in the UK.
So Mr. Mendez has made a very good career for himself out of human rights. He is part of the human rights industry’s international elite, and among that group the only “human right” an unwanted, unborn child has is the right to die. His affiliation with the Church and Church affiliated institutions over the years apparently has made zero impact on his promotion of the belief that abortion is a human right for those doing the killing and not a deprivation of the primary human right, the right to life, for those being killed.