Saturday, 6 September 2014

SPUC's national conference 2014 opens with an African flavour

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Bob Edwards
SPUC's national conference 2014 kicked off last night in Swanwick, Derbyshire. Follow our Twitter feed @spucprolife for updates throughout this weekend.

The conference was opened by Bob Edwards, SPUC's Honorary Treasurer, who has had a long and distinguished career in finance and in the charity sector. He was sure that many warm friendships would be established among the delegates this weekend.
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Rhoslyn Thomas
Next we heard from Rhoslyn Thomas, 25, SPUC's new Youth and Education Officer and the manager of SPUC's internship scheme. She introduced Eyo Esua, one of four of this year's interns. Eyo is a law student at Portsmouth University. He explained the many interesting and varied activities during this internship, such as researching charities, educational leafleting, and a protest outside the Polish embasssy. He discovered that many members of the public are generally against abortion. He charmed the audience by talk: "I'm Eyo, I'm 19, and I'm pro-life."
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Eyo Esua

The keynote address of the evening was given by Obianuju "Uju" Ekeocha, who runs Culture of Life Africa (COLA), an internet-based resource which monitors and publicises the attacks on the culture of life in her home continent of Africa. Uju organised the first ever pro-life conference in her native Nigeria in June 2013. She is outspoken against first world countries deluging the world’s poorest countries, most of them in Africa, with contraception and abortion. Here are the key points from her address:

Uju and SPUC:
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Obianuju "Uju" Ekeocha
Uju, who is a biomedical scientist, said that she grew up in Nigeria and has lived in the UK for 9 years. She thanked SPUC, saying she was impressed by the depth of SPUC's dedication. Not many pro-life organisations take a great interest in Africa. Uju has developed a very special pro-life friendship with Antonia Tully of SPUC.

Uju, Melinda Gates, Culture of Life Africa (COLA):
There is a clash of culture between the West and Africa
Melinda Gates, wife of Microsoft billionnaire Bill Gates, organised the London Summit on Family Planning, London. David Cameron spoke at the summit.
Melinda Gates' campaign may have to some good intentions but is going to:
  • start a contraceptive culture in Africa, when the current rate of contraceptive usage is simply not on a par with the Western world
  • distort the understanding of human sexuality
  • depreciate the value of motherhood, when in fact motherhood is celebrated in African culture
  • de-emphasise marriage, when in fact Africans aspire to marriage
  • spread ideology of radical feminism and culture of abortion - claimed not supporting abortion but contraceptive campaign will involve abortion as 'safety net'
On 5 August 2012, Uju wrote an open letter online to Melinda Gates. The open letter went viral, and sparked argument. Uju had to defend her position online and therefore had to do lots of research. She decided to launch Culture of Life Africa in February 2013, starting with a blog.

Current situation in Africa:
  • Abortion on demand is legal in only four African countries. 80% of African countries protect unborn children
  • Pro-abortion advocates hard at work - pro-abortion advocates don't sleep! In some countries (e.g. Kenya, Ghana) they're playing word games
Plot to pass pro-abortion law foiled in Nigeria!:
Recently a short, sweeping pro-abortion bill was inserted into the law in one Nigeria state. The bill looked like something from a Planned Parenthood guidebook. Uju said: "This has nothing to do with my country!" The bill was signed into law by the state's Governor but kept secret, with the text of the law locked away in a state government office. The tribal prince of Uju's town sent someone to sneak into the office and photocopy the bill - something he could have been killed for doing. The prince made the text public, which led to widespread outrage. The local Catholic archbishop organised opposition to the bill. In response, the governor not only repealed the law but publicly apologised for what had happened. So Africa can be kept pro-life!

Reality of abortion in Africa:
Where abortion is legal in Africa, there is coercion, post-abortion trauma (PAS), sexual violence, medical malpractice, marriage and family weakened, and suppression of conscientious objectors.

Where there is suppression by pro-abortion authorities in Africa, there is a lot of suppression - in South Africa, even religious sisters are not exempt from having to do abortion training and must therefore withdraw from health care! The rape culture in South Africa has actually worsened since legal abortion was liberalised in 1994. One million unborn babies have died through abortion in South Africa since then.

Man will decide if woman has abortion. Abortion clinic workers are poorly paid. There is inadequate crisis pregnancy care. Legal restrictions are not enforced because of corruption. Doctors are performing illegal abortions - though this is exaggerated by pro-abortion advocates in order to paint a false picture. Doctors, OB/GYNs: these people, the ones who are doing abortions, are in fact the ones who should be protecting life.

African medical systems are heavily influenced by the West huge pressure from West:
  • the UK's DFID (Department for International Development) - used to promote general education, now all they care about is sex education
  • IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation) - funded by the US et al.
  • MSI (Marie Stopes International) - has produced a video made to spread the pro-abortion message to young people
  • Amnesty International
  • Ipas - from North Carolina, trains lobbyists
A Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF) has been established. It exists only to lobby. It's a terrible thing and the UK is paying for it. This is cultural imperialism by Western politicians, and against African values, which includes valuing life.

The pro-abortion strategies in Africa include:
  • reframe the issue by calls to 'public health'
  • lobbying African leaders
  • campaigns at UN, EU, etc
  • media campaign
  • sex education - funded by United States et al.
  • questionable statistics
The anti-life lobby claim that there are large numbers of  'unplanned' pregnacies; yet the concept of 'unplanned' doesn't exist as an expression in African dialects! Where are they getting figures from? They have launched a project to condomise Africa, flooding the continent with condoms. For example, 118,800 condoms were shared at one event.

What Africa really needs is H.E.L.P.:
  • Health
  • Education
  • Life
  • Peace
The pro-life response:
There has been a powerful witness by SPUC in Nigeria. John Smeaton's talk to the Nigerian bishops has had huge fruits: the Bishops' Conference is inspired and ready to champion the pro-life cause; more pro-life outreach; and more international recognition of African pro-life spirit. So there is a way forward for a pro-life Africa:
  • frame the issue
  • lobby African leaders
  • humanise the subject
  • campaign at UN, EU, etc., especially get more Africans lobbying for life at UN
  • conduct media campaigns
  • educate the African public on life issues.
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