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Pro-Life Victory in South Africa as Court Strikes Law Allowing Nurses to Perform Abortion

LifeSiteNews.com

By Peter J. Smith

PRETORIA, South Africa, August 18, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – South Africa’s Constitutional Court has struck down pro-abortion legislation by a majority of 8 to 3, upholding a Doctors for Life’s (DFL) application that South Africa’s Parliament and the Nine Provinces had failed to provide “a meaningful opportunity” for the public to participate in the democratic process in passing these bills.

The Court’s decision strikes down the Abortion Amendment Act and the Traditional Health Practitioners Act with a suspending order in place for 18 months.

The Constitutional Court agreed with DFL’s submissions that Parliament had been in breach of the constitutional obligation to facilitate public involvement in the legislative process.

DFL regards the pro-life victory as of great importance to Parliament in respect of all legislation, not merely health bills, saying South Africa’s highest court established clearly that Parliament must not adapt the legislative process, but provide enough time and opportunity for the nation’s citizens to make their voice known over bills deliberated by Parliament.

The court awarded DFL DFL 60% of their costs against Parliament in DFL’s first victory in South Africa’s court system.

DFL is primarily a humanitarian organization engaged in providing for HIV/Aids orphans, prostitutes and other needy persons, and brought the case to Constitutional Court without having funds available for legal work depending on attorneys and advocates working on pro bono or on a contingency fee basis. DFL was represented by attorneys Janse van Rensburg, Strydom & Botha Inc and by advocate Kemp J Kemp SC.

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