By John Jalsevac

  MAPUTO, Mozambique, May 30, 2007 ( – Policymakers in the south African country of Mozambique are pushing to make the country one of the few African nations to legalize abortion on demand.

  The push for the change in law is coming from the Mozambique Health Ministry, which claims that legalizing abortion will cut down on the number of women who die as a consequence of illegal abortions.

  According to an IRIN report, health services in Mozambique estimate that in the 1990s 11% of maternal fatalities in the capital of Maputo were a consequence of botched abortions. It is also estimated that 40% of all serious pregnancy complications are related to illegal abortions.

“You cannot imagine the means people use for unsafe abortions,” said Graca Samo, the executive director of the Women’s Forum, a feminist organization that is pushing for the legalization of abortion in Mozambique. “It can be a pen, a piece of wood. It can be whatever it is.”

  Pro-life advocates, however, have long ago learned to take numbers of maternal deaths and “serious complications” as a result of “unsafe” illegal abortion with a large grain of salt. Prominent U.S. abortionist Dr. Bernard Nathanson admitted shortly after leaving his career as an abortion doctor that he and his abortion co-conspirators used to create hugely inflated statistics about maternal deaths caused by illegal abortions to soften the public to accept abortion on demand. Since then, he said, the use of grossly inflated numbers of illegal abortions and deaths of mothers from those abortions, has been a tactic abortion activists around the world have used to change laws.

“Repeating the big lie often enough convinces the public,” said Nathonson. “The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200-250 annually. The figure we constantly fed to the media was 10,000. These false figures took root in the consciousness of Americans, convincing many that we needed to crack the abortion law.”

  Although it is the local Mozambican Health Ministry that is ostensibly pushing for the change in law, the push for abortion on demand has actually come from a much higher source. Mozambique is one of the African countries that signed on to the so-called Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, also known as the Maputo Protocol. The protocol, which was signed by a large number of the 53-member states of the African Union, calls for the legalization of “safe” abortion across Africa.

  However, many African countries are motivated to put into effect the various Articles of the Maputo Protocol, in particular the abortion Article #14, by pressure coming from forces in the EU and the UN.

“Documents such as [the Maputo Protocol] have been used to change national laws in many instances,” the South African pro-life group Christian Action told earlier this year.

“One strategy has been for the European Union to make aid money contingent upon adoption of the abortion Protocol.”

  Mozambique’s Catholic bishops, who met with Pope Benedict XVI just this past week, have vocally condemned the effort to legalize abortion in their country, and, according to the IRIS report, are distressed that they are being excluded from any public debate or discussion about the proposed change in law.

  While expressing their sympathy for pregnant mothers who are often put in difficult positions, the bishops said, “Despite that, we affirm that abortion is not the solution to these situations. Its liberalization/legalization on the one hand vulgarizes and objectifies women, and on the other hand corrupts youth and trivializes the sacred power of procreation.”

  Earlier this year Congressman Chris Smith, who visited Africa to personally assess many of the most pressing problems, stated, “It is false to claim that abortion will be safe if it is legal. Abortion is never safe for the child and can harm the woman physically, emotionally and psychologically, whether legal or illegal.”


Commenting Guidelines

LifeSiteNews welcomes thoughtful, respectful comments that add useful information or insights. Demeaning, hostile or propagandistic comments, and streams not related to the storyline, will be removed.

LSN commenting is not for frequent personal blogging, on-going debates or theological or other disputes between commenters.

Multiple comments from one person under a story are discouraged (suggested maximum of three). Capitalized sentences or comments will be removed (Internet shouting).

LifeSiteNews gives priority to pro-life, pro-family commenters and reserves the right to edit or remove comments.

Comments under LifeSiteNews stories do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.