The UN “Special Rapporteur” on torture says if a woman cannot have an abortion, then she has experienced torture under international treaty obligations.

In a newly released report, Juan Mendez says laws against abortion are responsible for “tremendous and lasting physical and emotional suffering”, subject women and girls to “humiliating and judgemental attitudes,” and remarkably contribute to “prison overcrowding.”

All of this leads up to his charge that laws against abortion violate the UN Convention Against Torture, which defines torture as:

any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him, or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in, or incidental to, lawful sanctions.

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