3. Memorandum from the Society for the
Protection of Unborn Children
In the light of yesterday's hearing by the Committee
on the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, we request that
you convey to the Committee our concerns on this subject.
One of the primary aims of our Society is "to
reassert the principle laid down in the United Nations 1959 Declaration
of the Rights of the Child that the child `needs special safeguards
and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well
as after birth'."
This principle is in keeping with the declaration
by the second assembly of the World Medical Association (Geneva,
1948): "I will maintain the utmost respect for human life,
from the time of its conception."
This principle is also in keeping with article
6(5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(1966): "Sentence of death . . . shall not be carried out
on pregnant women." The Travaux Preparatoires of this
Covenant states that the express intention of this article was
inspired by consideration of the interests of the unborn child.
We therefore wish to see the United Kingdom
retract its declaration that "The United Kingdom interprets
the Convention as applicable only following a live birth"
and to declare that it interprets the Convention as applicable
from the time of conception, a conceptus being:
a human ovum undergoing fertilisation
or analogous process leading to the formation of a human embryo;
17 July 2002