Saturday, November 27, 2010

U.N. Says Christians Cause Deaths in Africa

The U.N. Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) met this month in Ghana, Africa insisting that Christians' resistance to legalizing abortion in developing countries worldwide, but particularly in Africa, has resulted in unnecessary deaths of pregnant women.

-- From "To save women's lives in Africa, bring abortion out of the shadows" by Sharon Camp, UK Guardian 11/12/10

While abortion is very safe in countries where it is legal and provided by trained medical professionals, clandestine abortion – the norm in most of Africa – can lead to death and serious injury. Approximately 26,000 African women die as a result of unsafe abortion every year. Another 1.7 million are hospitalised, and many others also suffer serious health complications, but never seek treatment.

Over 90% of African women of childbearing age live in countries with limited or no access to safe abortion procedures. According to the most recent data available, of the 5.6m abortions carried out in the region every year, only 100,000 are performed under safe conditions.

While some African nations have loosened abortion restrictions, 14 countries still prohibit it under all circumstances – even to save the pregnant woman's life.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Church Leaders An Obstacle To Preventing Maternal Deaths" By Christi van der Westhuizen, Inter Press Service 11/12/10

The resurgence in religious fundamentalism and the inordinate influence of certain church leaders over public health policy present major obstacles to the prevention of needless deaths and injuries of women from unsafe abortion on the African continent.

This was one of the issues discussed at a conference with the theme "Keeping our Promise. Addressing Unsafe Abortion in Africa", hosted Nov. 8-11 by Ipas with the support of Ghana’s health ministry in Accra. Ipas is a global, non-profit organisation promoting women’s exercise of sexual and reproductive rights.

More than 230 delegates, including cabinet ministers, parliamentarians and healthcare providers from 20 African countries, attended the conference.

The non-implementation of existing laws is partly due to ignorance and prejudice among healthcare personnel and law enforcement officials and partly due to the negative influence of certain religious leaders, delegates at the conference heard.

Ipas country director for Ghana, Dr Koma Jehu-Appiah, adds that, "Ghanaians tend to confuse religion with everything. Abortion is stigmatised as sinful. But you cannot use religion to solve public health problems."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "UN Partners With NGOs to Push Abortion in Africa" By Samantha Singson, Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute 11/25/10

In addition to legal restrictions, some conference sponsors blamed religion and churches for putting a “stranglehold” on policymakers. Dr. Eunice Brookman-Amissah, Ipas vice-president for Africa, called restrictive abortion laws “archaic” and complained that attempts to liberalize laws “inherited from colonial administrations” have been circumvented by “anti-abortion churches.”

According to a UN factsheet, the legal status of abortion is the sovereign right of each nation and that the United Nations does not provide support for abortion or abortion related activities anywhere in the world.

UNECA's mandate is to promote the economic and social development in and among countries in the region and to promote international cooperation for Africa's development. While the UN is not supposed to take a position on abortion, in 2006 UN agencies including UNICEF and UNFPA came under fire for intervening in Nicaragua’s decision to ban abortion.

While conference organizers argued that legalizing abortion would lower maternal mortality, critics take issue with the abortion focus, pointing out that the lack of modern medicine and quality health care, not the prohibition of abortion, are the biggest contributors to high maternal mortality rates.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "UN pressures El Salvador to legalize abortion" posted at Catholic News Agency 11/3/10

Last week the U.N. commission circulated a memo demanding El Salvador “take measures to prevent women who seek treatment in public hospitals from being reported by health care workers or administrators for the crime of abortion.”

The “Brazilian Consensus” is an international document signed in July 2010 at the 11th Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, which is organized by the U.N. The document, which promotes abortion in Latin America and is constantly cited by feminist organizations, lacks any legal authority to impose the practice on countries in the region. Numerous countries, such as Chile, Costa Rica, Peru and Nicaragua have questioned the legal value of the accord.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Read also, Worldwide Abortion Advanced by IL Sen. Durbin