Imo state governor signs abortion bill into law – Catholic doctors rebel!

I know that this will be an emotive subject for most Nigerians. I also know that most readers of this blog will support the catholic doctors. Actually in principle, I also support the catholic doctors. However, it is important to note the following:

Abortion at will is available in Nigeria. In fact, most private hospitals are basically abortion clinics. What Governor Okorocha has done is to legalize what was already thriving illegally.  Everybody knows someone who has had an abortion in Nigeria. Do you know anyone who has been arrested for it? No? I did not think so. 

I think that the law is also clear on the circumstances under which an abortion could be a CHOICE:

in cases of sexual assault, rape, incest and where the continued pregnancy endangers the life or the physical, mental, psychological or emotional health of the mother.

Abortion should not be used as contraception, that is completely wrong. However,  doctors should not have to break the law (in extreme conditions) when they are faced with a decision on whether to conduct an emergency abortion to save the life of a mother.  And while I believe all life is sacred and must be valued,  a woman who is raped, or who has been forced into incest has the right to decide what to do, regardless of what I or anyone else think. So the law should protect that choice.  This is what I have noticed about many people I know – they are anti abortion until their teenage daughter or sister is pregnant. LOL!

Let me be clear o: Abortion as a means of contraception is wrong. If you willingly have sex with someone- without coercion, and you get pregnant,  I can never support abortion. However, if  a woman may die if she has the baby, or she is violated, or the pregnancy occurs as a result of incest (willing nor not), then I think the woman should at least have the legal option not to have the baby – even if I may not agree with whatever she chooses to do.

As for the doctors, I sincerely hope the law protects them too.  In other countries,  you have to go to specially designated clinics to have an abortion. Unless you have an emergencey when a quick evacuation has to occur, doctors in conventional hospitals do not handle abortions.  I sincerely hope that this law does not force doctors in government or teaching hospitals to HAVE TO carry out abortions. That would be just wrong. The law must protect the beliefs of caregivers and not force them to conduct procedures against their conscience.

That is my own opinion o. What do you think? Story below:

OWERRI—Imo State governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, and Catholic Medical Practitioners Association are at daggers-drawn over the abortion bill the former just signed into law.

The law, among others, permits women to procure abortion at will.

Gov Okorocha

Gov Okorocha

Sponsored by the Majority Leader and member representing Ahiazu Mbaise state constituency, Mrs. Adekunle Ihuoma, the law is to be cited as “Imo State of Nigeria, Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law Number 12 of 2012”.

According to the new law, every woman shall have the right to enjoy reproductive rights, including  rights to medical abortion in cases of sexual assault, rape, incest and where the continued pregnancy endangers the life or the physical, mental, psychological or emotional health of the mother.

The law also stipulates that “every woman shall have the right to take decisions about her health needs and requirements.”

The law was very specific that a woman “shall have the right to determine the processes concerning reproduction in her body.”

Okorocha also approved that every woman should have a right to health, which should be understood to mean enjoyment of the highest level of physical, mental and social well-being and healthcare services.

These provisions include everything relating to family planning.

Chairman, Catholic Medical Practitioners Association, Dr. Phillip Njemanze, has reacted angrily to the law, arguing that “the law is anti-God, dehumanizing and totally unacceptable to the association.

“The law is devastating. With its signing into law by Governor Okorocha, abortion has been legalized in the state and anybody, just anybody can now ask for abortion as a right in the state.”

While recalling that the National Assembly had earlier rejected the bill, especially as it was against humanity, Njemanze reasoned that the law would encourage human egg trafficking.



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