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Rep. Smith to Hold Press Conference Calling on Amnesty International to Reject Pro-Abortion Platform

Contact: Patrick Creamer, Communications, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, 202-225-3765


WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 /Christian Newswire/ -- U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Co-Chairman of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro Life Caucus, will be holding a press conference at 2 p.m. on Monday, November 20, 2006, where he will be calling on Amnesty International to resist pressure from abortion rights advocates to adopt a pro-abortion position.


Press Conference Details ---



-- U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Co-Chairman of the Bi- Partisan Pro-Life Caucus and Chairman of the House International Relations Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations


-- Deirdre McQuade, Director of Planning and Information for the Pro-Life Secretariat of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)


-- Kristen Day, Executive Director of Democrats for Life


When: Monday, November 20, 2 PM


Where: 2216 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC


Why: Amnesty International currently holds a neutral position on abortion, but in recent years they have been under pressure by abortion rights activists to adopt a pro-abortion position. A final decision could be made at Amnesty International's next international meeting that will be held in Mexico in August of 2007. Representing the views of their membership, country representatives will likely vote on what, if any, position Amnesty International should take on abortion.


In a strongly worded letter addressed to Larry Cox, Executive Director of Amnesty International, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith and 73 other Members of Congress urged the organization to either maintain the abortion neutral position or take a position in favor of life. The letter states that a decision to support or condone abortion would "significantly undermine Amnesty's reputation and effectiveness."


"The killing of an unborn child by abortion can never be construed to be a human right. Therefore, taking a position that supports violence against children is antithetical to everything Amnesty International stands for. It is not possible for Amnesty to justify any position that condones abortion based on international human rights law while at the same time remain true to their principles," Smith said.


Amnesty International has a broad constituency including many persons of faith and works closely with religious and faith based organizations to promote human rights. Since 1961, the organization has worked across party-lines to protect human rights and defend the weak and the oppressed.