SOWETO, Nev 19 (LSN) – In a harrowing testimony to the pro-life spirit in South Africa, the London Telegraph reported that Empangeni Hospital, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, has had difficulty in committing abortions since only three of its 300 nurses have agreed to assist with abortions. The Termination of Pregnancy Act passed by parliament in October last year is one of the most controversial pieces of legislation to be dictated by the African National Congress since it took office in May 1994. It allows for abortion on demand in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, even for minors.
Empangeni Hospital Superintendent, Dr Leon van den Berg, revealed the great discomfort among the people that this new law incurred. “Here in Zululand people are not keen on abortion,” he said. “In a hospital like ours where all the nurses are black, no one wants to touch it with a barge pole. It goes against their culture. If my boss, Nelson Mandela, says we have to do abortions then we will do them. But it’s a hot potato. It’s just not popular.”
The law’s total disregard for the life of preborn children angers many Afrikaners and Africans whose cultures are united in their “traditional” approach to the family. Christian and Muslim lobbies have joined forces to oppose the law. Members of the ANC have complained that they were forced to vote for the law, having been denied a free vote on the issue by leader Nelson Mandela.