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.
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:
|Obianuju "Uju" Ekeocha|
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'
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
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
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
What Africa really needs is H.E.L.P.:
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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