In the latest issue of the International Journal of Human Rights, Jakob Cornides of the European Commission finds that nations have naively "handed over too much power to self-styled ‘human rights experts'" which is seriously damaging, perhaps even destroying, the credibility of the concept of human rights. In his in-depth article entitled "Human Rights Pitted Against Man," Cornides carefully analyzes two recent examples of how European bureaucracies are overstepping their mandates and pushing a pro-abortion ideology using language, supposition and selectivity to usher in a right to abortion by "the backdoor."
Proponents of a right to abortion relied on "obfuscating and denying reality," "inventing and distorting reality" and the manipulation of human rights language precisely because it is so unlikely that a new treaty recognizing abortion as a fundamental human right could ever be adopted, Cornides argues. "Instead of saying that they want to impose new laws (like abortion on demand) on society, they pretend that international law obliges them to do so, and that the new laws they are making represent the true and original sense of the relevant Conventions," he explains.
Cornides examines in detail the case in which the European Parliament and Commission called on the unelected advisory body Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights to interject during bilateral negotiations between the Slovak Republic and the Holy See. The Network criticized a provision in the draft agreement whereby medical providers could opt out of performing abortions as a matter of conscience. In an opinion rendered in December 2005, the Network argued that allowing a conscientious objection clause violates international obligations such as the right for individuals to access healthcare. The result, according to Cornides, is that "it is no longer those practicing abortion who are under suspicion of violating human rights, but those not willing to partake in the act."
In another case, the European Court of Human Rights found Poland guilty of violating Alicja Tysiac's right to respect for private life when medical experts denied her request for an abortion, finding insufficient basis for her claim that the pregnancy might exacerbate her preexisting eye condition. The Court did not find that the decision of the doctors to sanction the abortion was unlawful, but that Poland did not have procedures in place to overturn it.
Cornides calls into question the competency and legitimacy of the European bureaucracy to intervene in the human rights domain. He points out that the Network, composed in 2002 by the European Union, does not even have the authority to monitor any specific measures adopted by an EU member state when the issue falls outside the scope of the EU Treaty.
Cornides concludes that abortion is merely one area where genuine human rights are manipulated by bureaucracies overstepping their mandates, and warns that similar dynamics are found in the abuse of human rights to advance broad homosexual rights, euthanasia, and cloning.