U.N. anti-torture committee member Felice Gaer’s statement to a Holy See delegation equating opposition to abortion and torture is part of a growing trend to exclude Catholics and other pro-life advocates, one critic says.

“That our country’s own representative at a United Nations committee would seek to intimidate the diplomatic face of the world’s largest religious institution is profoundly troubling,” Ashley McGuire, a senior fellow with The Catholic Association, said in a May 28 opinion column for Real Clear Religion.

She charged that Gaer, the vice-chair of the United Nations’ Committee on the Convention Against Torture, is “now a part of efforts directly targeting one of the Catholic Church’s most deeply-held beliefs: that life begins at conception and that all human life has inherent dignity and is worthy of protection.”

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