United Nations NGO Leader: Abortion Would Help Women in Darfur Camps

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 4, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

United Nations NGO Leader: Abortion Would Help Women in Darfur Camps Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 4, 2006

New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — A leader of a United Nations lobbying group says women who have been victimized in the difficult and brutal conflict in Darfur, Sudan should be given abortions, especially if they have been raped. Tamara Fetters, a researcher for Ipas, a population control advocacy group, says all refugee health facilities should be doing abortions.

There is no doubt that sexual violence against the women in refugee camps in Darfur and Chad is worsening.

Louise Arbour, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, told Reuters Thursday that "The situation (in Darfur) is poor, bad and very alarming and what is particularly sad is to see no progress and a deterioration of the situation."

But instead of increased security, increasing humanitarian aid, peace deals to stop the conflict or moving refugees to other areas, Fetters says abortion is the solution.

"Given the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence in Darfur, why are safe abortion services … not provided at all refugee/ IDP health facilities?" she asks in an op-ed published Thursday by Oxford University.

"[T]he question of access to safe abortion as an option for victims of rape is not openly discussed in any health facility receiving international humanitarian assistance in Darfur, Chad or elsewhere," she complains.

Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, tells LifeNews.com this is another case where abortion advocates are out of touch with the needs of women.

"These poor women have already been viciously violated. Yet political agitators are using refugee women as props to push a second violation – abortion – upon them," she said.

Wright explained that abortion is already unsafe for women in industrialized nations and would be much less safe for women in these more remote regions of the world.

"Women in refugee camps will not have access to even basic health care to treat normal abortion complications," she told LifeNews.com.

She said abortion advocates should be ashamed that they are "using the desperate situation in Sudan, which has riveted the world’s attention, to hijack for their own callous purposes."

Abortions are legal in Chad to save the life of a woman or protect her health and Sudanese law allows abortions to save the mother’s life or in cases of rape that has occurred not more than 90 days before when the woman wants an abortion.

Fetters claims that "a Sudanese woman’s right to life and health is violated" if she is unable to get an abortion after becoming pregnant from rape. She also lamented a study showing that only one in six agencies providing health services in the refugee camps in Chad offers the morning after pill.

In her article, Fetters suggests that refugee camp health facilities make sure women know they have the right to an abortion, that morning after pills are available, and that medical care is available for women who have abortions elsewhere and complications from them.