KAMPALA, Uganda, January 26, 2006 ( – Uganda’s bishops have released a powerful statement against abortion in response to the Maputo Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, an initiative undertaken by the African Union to make abortion a human right.

“Abortion – the deliberate termination of a pregnancy at any stage of its development – is always an objective evil,” wrote Archbishop Paul Bakyenga, Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference. “No legislation can change it into something good. This is the law of God, which anyone can find enshrined in the natural law…Abortion is an objective evil and our legislation must never seek to legitimize it.”

The bishops spoke out against manipulative language used by abortion advocates to present abortion as something other than the deliberate killing of a baby.

“Abortion is always a defeat of humanity: the elaborate, mixed and confused semantics under which it is increasingly disguised… will never hide the fact that it is a willful homicide of the most defenseless form of life. In the history of humanity never has such objective evil been presented and approved as a right. This is the fundamental truth that no mixed and deceitful semantics can hide.”

Article 22.2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda explicitly protects the life of the unborn. The bishops warned that ratification of the protocol would allow that article to be overturned. They also warn that the section of the protocol that would legalize abortion has gone largely unnoticed by the media and public opinion.

Western aid organizations such as UNICEF, No Peace Without Justice, and the Canadian International Development Organization back the Maputo Protocol. These organizations focus attention on section 5 of the Protocol, which would outlaw female genital mutilation (FGM). FGM is an ongoing crisis in Africa, and is frequently used as a vehicle by western groups pushing for women’s rights, including abortion.

The bishops called for a continuation of the work of education being done in Uganda to counteract the social devastation caused by irresponsible sexuality. Uganda’s abstinence programs have been strikingly successful as a method of coping with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. As well, they have had considerable success in reducing the rates of female genital mutilation in the country, using legislation and educational programs.

Uganda’s success rate in reducing FGM rates has not gone unnoticed by advocates for the Protocol. Rebecca Buckwalter, senior editor for the Harvard International Review, said that although Uganda has had success in lowering rates of FGM without the aid of the Protocol, “it is only through formal African Union adoption of the [protocol] legislation that the practice will be universally eradicated,” in a article published online.

Read the full text of the Bishops’ statement:

See LifeSiteNews coverage of Uganda’s abstinence programs:

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