Human Rights and the Unborn Child (Review)
Penovic, Tania. Human Rights and the Unborn Child (review). Human Rights Quarterly 33:1 (2011), 229-243. © 2011 The Johns Hopkins University Press. Reprinted with permission of The Johns Hopkins University Press.
16 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2013 Last revised: 19 Nov 2013
Date Written: 2011
Rita Joseph’s Human Rights and the Unborn Child promises to represent “what international law has to say about the human rights of the unborn." This book postulates that abortion is prohibited under any circumstances by a range of international instruments, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Despite the silence of these instruments on the subject, Joseph argues that the consensus they represent regarding an absolute fetal right to life is so obvious that it did not need to be properly articulated. The same right is ascribed to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (African Women’s Protocol), which authorizes medical abortion. An entitlement to the full panoply of human rights is declared from the moment of conception or “in practical terms, from the first moment that an unborn child’s existence in a new pregnancy is acknowledged and verified.” Exponents of a contrary view are regaled with an arsenal of pejorative terms. Philip Alston, Paul Hunt, members of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), United Nations (UN) Secretariat, treaty bodies and a range of others are dismissed as disingenuous, conspiratorial, pretentious, exceptionally devious, perverse, ideologically zealous, ignorant, academically dishonest, extravagantly revisionist, scheming, confused, or radical feminists.
Keywords: Book Review, Review, Rita Joseph, Human Rights, Unborn Child, Fetus, International Law, Abortion
JEL Classification: K00, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation