Kathryn Lopez

It is a tragedy when a force for good becomes a force for evil. But such is the case with Amnesty International.

In April, the 1.8 million-member human-rights organization announced its support for abortion. Amnesty International (AI), in a press release, made it clear that it stood by "the rights of women and girls to be free from threat, force, or coercion as they exercise their sexual and reproductive rights."

I certainly don't want women and girls to be sexually or reproductively forced or coerced into anything. But if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, would Amnesty International consider the U.S. government even more of a human-rights violator than they already do? AI should probably take a look at their own policies toward human rights before they start pointing fingers.

How can AI be a credible human-rights defender when it will not unconditionally defend those who are truly voiceless -- the unborn? Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.), a pro-life human-rights advocate, is right in advising AI against the policy change: "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," Smith said at a press conference.

What's so frustrating about the new policy is that AI -- founded by a Communist and Roman Catholic convert -- can do a world of good with its global resources.

Days after pro-life groups were blasting AI for its new policy, the organization was publicizing the plight of the blind Chinese human-rights activist Chen Guangcheng, who was beaten in a prison. He is serving a four-year sentence on trumped-up charges; his real transgression was exposing the inhuman treatment of women and unborn children in the Shandong province, where local Linyi City officials use forced sterilization and abortion to meet China's population-control mandates. If AI is supporting a man who is fighting against the mistreatment of women, how can they not realize how similar that fight is to the preservation of unborn life?

Mary Ann Glendon, the Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard University Law School, has tried to solve the AI riddle.

Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.