Health ministers promote protocol that encourages abortion throughout Africa

.- According to a report on the website, African Health Ministers have adopted a new proposal that will increase legal abortion throughout the continent, under the policies of the controversial Maputo Protocol on the rights of women.

"A wider women's health programme should be institutionalised including broad coverage of family planning (repositioned into wider reproductive health programmes),"the proposal states. "Amongst other factors, …safe abortion services should be included, as far as the law allows."

South African Acting Health Minister and Conference Chairman Jeff Radebe said in a statement, "I am sure that with our partners, both local communities as well as our development partners we shall do all we can to ensure the full implementation of the Strategy.”

But opposition to the proposal came from Dr. Philip Njemanze, chairman of the Nigerian African Anti-Abortion Coalition, who accused some international organizations of violating the Nigerian Constitution in promoting abortion.  In Uganda the Deputy Secretary for Finance and Administration of the Uganda Joint Christian Council, Sylvester Arinaitwe, said, “We request President Museveni and the delegation that will represent Uganda at the upcoming meeting of the African Union in Addis Abba to reject any policy that would expose Uganda in particular, and Africa as a whole, to mass murder through the legalisation of abortion.”

Cardinal Polycarp Pengo of Tanzania called on African leaders to reexamine certain sections of the Maputo Protocol, at a recent press briefing in Accra after a five day meeting of Catholic leaders in Africa.  "We, the Catholic Church, teach that 'human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person -among which is the inviolable rights of every innocent being to life,'" Cardinal Pengo said.

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