Western donors fuel renewed attack on pro-life laws in Africa
NAIROBI, Kenya, September 14, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – A plague is attacking Africa, fed by money from developed and decadent nations in Europe and North America, leading politicians to weaken their pro-life constitutions and laws and allow abortion-on-demand.
Money and services from European governments and NGOs and American pro-abortion organizations like the Gates Foundation are behind renewed moves by the governments of Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, and Morocco to lift their abortion restrictions.
“Right now it is a concerted effort by a number of key organizations and governments aimed at the most vulnerable African countries,” Obianuju Ekeocha of Culture of Life Africa told LifeSiteNews from her London office.
“It is always the same technique. Go for the countries of east and southern Africa which are most liberal in matters of male-female sexual relations; produce inflated numbers about illegal abortion and resulting maternal mortality; use scare tactics to win over politicians.”
In Kenya, Health Minister James Macharia has just announced his intention to introduce guidelines specifying how women can get legal abortions. The minister admitted he hoped to avoid arousing the hostile response of the Catholic Church by presenting the guidelines as part of a larger package to cut maternal mortality.
“The last time we released the safe abortion guidelines, we were criticised especially by religious leaders as permitting and encouraging abortion,” Macharia said. “Unsafe abortions are not the only cause of deaths for women. So, we want to address this issue in a wholesome way rather than just focusing on abortion.”
The Catholic Church, which runs 54 hospitals and 83 health centers across the nation of 44 million, as well as medical and nursing schools, forced the government to withdraw the guidelines when last introduced in 2012. These were an attempt to liberalize the new constitution that passed in 2010, which Miss Ekeocha called a compromise. “The pro-abortion forces didn’t get abortion on demand. The abortion industry wasn’t able to take off. Abortion is allowed only when the health of the mother is threatened and this is certified by a health professional.”
Ekeocha told LifeSiteNews she was afraid the new guidelines will allow not only doctors, as now, but nurses to “certify” the health risk to the woman, or worse, “They will let women self-certify”—tantamount to abortion-on-demand.
In what is hardly a coincidence, the Nairobi-based African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC) has released what it calls “preliminary results” from a study that won’t even be finished until December 2016. According to an uncritical report in the Kenyan Standard, these show that “backstreet abortions are driving the public health sector to its knees with tax payers left to clean up the mess.” Reports from “128 Level II to VI public health facilities shows that the high number of women with complications resulting from unsafe abortions are a major burden to the struggling sector.”
Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!
The same privately-funded organization produced a report in 2013 that claimed there were 465,000 unsafe abortions in 2012, leading to 375,000 women developing “complications requiring medical attention mainly in public hospitals” and 2,600 maternal deaths. Comparing these with other statistics from neutral sources reveals the outlandishness of their numbers: that there is one abortion in Kenya for every three births, and that botched, illegal abortions cause one third of Kenya’s maternal deaths.
“These numbers are preposterously high,” Ekeocha told LifeSiteNews. “Each time the campaign to liberalize abortion laws starts in a country, we see these inflated kinds of numbers. They are an insult to African women.” Even the pro-abortion World Health Organization and Planned Parenthood’s research offshoot, the Guttmacher Institute, claim that only 14 percent of maternal deaths are caused by botched, illegal abortions.
Those organizations, and APHRC in Kenya, claim that laws against abortions force the deadly procedure to the “backstreet” where ill-trained amateurs kill unfortunate women. “But illegal abortions are being done by trained doctors who just move their sign from the backdoor to the front door when abortion is legalized,” said Ekeocha. Moreover, countries such as South Africa with liberal abortion laws have high rates of maternal mortality, she added, “while Mauritius, with very strict laws about abortion, has maternal mortality rates comparable with Northern Europe.”
Studies of Mexico and Chile by the pro-life Melisa Institute, led by Dr. Elard Koch, have repeatedly debunked the allegation that legalizing abortion will reduce maternal mortality rates (MMR), showing that MMR declined steadily in Chile over 30 years despite its criminalization under the Pinochet military regime. In Mexico, a comparison of states restricting abortion with more liberal states showed MMRs higher in the liberal states. Maternal education, better health facilities and trained midwives were the key to low MMR, found Koch’s team.
Meanwhile the Malawi Parliament is considering a bill that would replace a law that currently allows abortions only if the woman’s life is at risk. Advocates for permissiveness claim 70,000 women get illegal, backstreet abortions, allegedly sending 31,000 with complications to seek medical assistance.
Morocco’s king has ordered its Parliament to liberalize the country’s abortion law to allow it in cases of incest, rape, and malformation of the unborn child, and Mozambique undertook a similar liberalization in June.
Ekeocha blamed NGOs and foreign governments who tie foreign aid to liberalization of laws regarding both homosexuality and abortion. “The UN is putting on pressure and the new sustainable development goals [being promoted with regional organizations by pro-abortion NGOs] will lead to pressure on individual countries. But Africans at the grass roots are pro-life,” declared Ekeocha. “They need to pay attention to what their governments are doing.”