By Hilary White

  PARAMARIBO, Suriname, February 28, 2007 ( – Less than a month after a UN committee insisted that Suriname repeal its law protecting the right to life of unborn children, the health minister of the small Caribbean country told Parliament that abortions should be allowed in cases in which the child was conceived by rape. Currently abortion is allowed only in cases where the mother’s life is immediately threatened.

  Caribbean Net News reports that health minister Celsius Waterberg said that abortion ought to be legalized in the ‘hard cases’ of rape. A moment before, he had denounced euthanasia, saying it was contradictory to his Christian beliefs.

  After enduring decades of rule by socialist military dictatorships, Suriname, a former Dutch colony, seems in danger of caving to international abortion promoters putting pressure on small countries, especially in South America.

  Suriname is a signatory to the UN’s feminst charter, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). On January 25, at its meeting with the Suriname government representatives, the CEDAW committee complained that Suriname was too slow to implement the agreement and pushed for the legalization of abortion and the distribution of contraceptives.

  In its concluding comments, the committee made the “recommendation” that the country’s “dead letter laws” restricting abortion and the distribution of contraceptives “be repealed.”

  The committee also called on Suriname to implement measures to reduce “prevalence of teenage pregnancy”. “Such measures should include making widely available, without any restriction, a comprehensive range of contraceptives.”

  Parliamentarian Sharmila Mangal-Mansaran responded to Waterberg’s comments in Parliament, saying the health minister’s arguments were contradictory and that Waterberg ought to oppose abortion for the same reason he opposes euthanasia. Mangal-Mansaran said that it is a proven fact that a foetus is “a human life”.

  Under Suriname’s current criminal code provisions, a woman who causes the abortion of her unborn child is subject to up to three years’ imprisonment and those who help her up to twelve years. Doctors, midwives and pharmacists, the penalties may be as much as one third longer. Two abortion facilities have been shut down under the criminal provisions and its staff imprisoned, according to the government representative at the CEDAW committee.

  The website of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) complains of the country’s “contraceptive prevalence rate of only 50%.” Although the provision of contraceptives and contraceptive information is technically illegal, the government subsidizes their distribution.

  International population control agencies and their affiliated non-governmental organizations have been exposed as using the “hard case” of rape as a wedge issue.

  A former high-ranking official of the Colombian Justice Ministry, Rafael Nieto Loaiza, exposed the work of abortion activists who have used the courts and the media to create a more accepting public climate for abortion using cases of pregnancy from rape or when there are foetal abnormalities in order to prepare the ground for full legalization of abortion.

  Suriname currently enjoys a replacement level birth-rate with 2.32 children born/woman, but the rate has fallen substantially in recent years and continues to drop.

  See the UN recommendations to Suriname: (Adobe reader required)

  Read related coverage:
  Colombian Radical Feminist Reveals Dis-Information Strategy to Legalize Abortion

  Malta Stands Fast against UN Feminist Offensive