Amnesty International has finally admitted it has adopted a new policy supporting abortion.
After pro-life groups exposed the organization's secret adoption of a pro-abortion position last week, AI officials admitted Wednesday that Amnesty would begin lobbying for abortion to be decriminalized globally.
Widney Brown, senior policy and campaigns director, told Reuters that the board of AI agreed on the policy change last month.
The human rights lobby group had previously held a position of neutrality on abortion.
While the agency has said they are not supporting abortion as a human right but simply addressing "particular circumstances" surrounding rape situations or endangerment to women's health, in fact the policy calls for a moratorium on all criminal penalties for abortion.
"'Decriminalization' means the removal of all criminal penalties (including imprisonment, fines and other punishments) against those seeking, obtaining, providing information about, or carrying out abortions," the document states.
Brown denied that Amnesty had attempted to keep the new policy a secret. "There's simply no reason for us to 'publicize' policy issues," she said.
In a document outlining the new policy to members, which was buried on a members-only, restricted-content page of AI's US website, the agent warned, "It is very important to be aware of the following: This policy will not be made public at this time. As the IEC [Amnesty International's International Executive Committee] has written to all sections, "There is to be no proactive external publication of the policy position or of the fact of its adoption issued. This means no section or structure is to issue a press release or public statement or external communication of any kind on the policy decision."
Multiple international organizations objected to the agency's proposal to begin championing abortion rights after it was first publicized two years ago.