In the international arena, AUL is establishing a network of strategic relationships with pro-life leaders abroad and contributing to pro-life legal developments abroad through consulting, filing briefs, and speaking engagements.
William Saunders, AUL’s Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs, recently consulted on what may be a watershed case, the potential “Roe v. Wade” of Europe, ABC v. Ireland, before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. The plaintiffs seek to overturn Ireland’s constitutional protection for the unborn. The outcome of the case is pending.
Saunders also conferred with Bishop Anthony Muheria, of the diocese of Kitui, Kenya, concerning proposed changes to Kenya’s national constitution that would liberalize abortion. Bill contacted government officials and religious leaders in Kenya to explain there is no international right to abortion.
In 2008, AUL filed a brief before the Mexican Supreme Court in defense of a human life amendment enacted in the Mexican state of Baja. The outcome of the case is pending.
AUL has also built strategic relationships with many pro-life leaders abroad. Saunders met with Mary Ann Glendon, the leading human rights attorney in the world, at Harvard University, where he also gave a talk on abortion and international law. In 2009, he taught a seminar on life issue and the law for Michael Novak’s Free Society Seminar in Slovakia. While in Europe, he met with Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, and his bioethics advisor. He spoke to the U.K.’s leading pro-life group, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, in late summer 2009, and also gave an address at the World Congress of Families in Amsterdam. In November, Saunders attended a meeting in Malta of 60 pro-life organizations from 15 European countries to plan strategy for 2010.
In January 2010, Saunders spoke in Qatar at an international conference sponsored by the DOHA Institute on why there is no “human right” to assisted suicide. His paper will be part of a report presented by the Institute at the United Nations.
Through developing these relationships and consulting abroad, AUL is advancing pro-life work internationally to counter the growing influence of anti-life advocates who wish to expand abortion world-wide. This also helps rebut the argument that there is an international right to abortion that activist judges in the US should recognize. Our international work reinforces and extends our efforts at home to influence policy and law makers to protect life.