Senior UN official criticizes US abortion laws, likens them to torture, 'extremist hate'

A senior United Nations official has criticized United States abortion policy and the recent passage of restrictive abortion laws, likening them to torture and “extremist hate.”

Kate Gilmore, the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the Guardian: “We have not called it out in the same way we have other forms of extremist hate, but this is gender-based violence against women, no question.”

Gilmore said it was "clear it’s torture – it’s a deprivation of a right to health,” citing a U.N. committee of independent experts that stated, “the absolute prohibition of abortion…is against human rights.”

Gilmore, an Australian national who according to her U.N. biography page was previously a senior figure at Amnesty International, said that the recent bans on abortion passed by several U.S. states as well as the Trump administration’s push to take out specific wording on recent UN resolutions and policy documents was, “deeply distressing.”

Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. was expanding its ban on giving aid to groups that either promote or provide abortions. Pompeo said the ban would now include organizations that comply with the rule but give money to others that don’t – adding that the Trump administration would not allow taxpayer money to pay for “back-door funding schemes and end runarounds to our policy.”

Kate Gilmore, the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: “We have not called it out in the same way we have other forms of extremist hate, but this is gender-based violence against women, no question.”

Kate Gilmore, the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: “We have not called it out in the same way we have other forms of extremist hate, but this is gender-based violence against women, no question.” (Reuters)

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Recently U.S. states including Alabama, Missouri, Ohio, Georgia and Kentucky have put strict restrictions on abortions that have further added the abortion issue to one that analysts expect to feature highly in next year’s Presidential elections.

Gilmore recently spoke at a forum sponsored by the Guardian on the setbacks for reproductive rights where she charged that there was an organized effort underway by ideological activists from Conservative and Christian groups that were ignoring the facts, calling it an "assault on truth, science and universal values and norms".

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Melanie Israel, a research associate for The Heritage Foundation's DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society told Fox News: “Clearly, Americans’ views on abortion policy do not line up with the radical vision of unrestricted abortion-on-demand promoted by out-of-touch U.N. officials. In fact, U.S. abortion laws are some of the most liberal of any U.N. member state, which begs the question – why is the U.S., of all countries, being singled out for such over-the-top criticism?

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“Abortion is not health care – it is a procedure designed to end innocent human life and poses significant health and safety threats to women. There’s a reason more than 300 pro-life laws have passed at the state level in the last decade: Americans are expressing their clear support for pro-life measures.”

Fox News' Andrew O'Reilly and The Associated Press contributed to this report