by Steven Ertelt
February 26, 2007
Lagos, Nigeria (LifeNews.com) — A leading pro-life congressman told a conference this weekend that African nations, including Nigeria, should provide pregnant women with health care and proper pregnancy services rather than abortions. The conference comes as abortion advocacy groups try to persuade African nations to overturn their pro-life laws.
Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, joined Dr. Philip Njemanze, the chairman of the African Anti-Abortion Coalition, in speaking at a conference at Pan-African University Aja.
Smith talked about the efforts to promote "reproductive health" at the United Nations but warned that the phrase takes on a different meaning in the context of abortion.
According to a report in the Daily Champion newspaper, Smith said "reproductive health right is not the same thing and would not be the same with legalization of abortion."
While some abortion advocates claim illegal abortions are killing women in Africa, Smith said the real problem was a lack of basic health care, doctors and medical facilities.
Debunking the myth, Smith noted "it is false to claim that abortion will be safe if it is legal."
"Abortion is never safe for the child and can harm the woman physically, emotionally and psychologically whether legal or illegal," he explained.
Smith said that "complications from childbirth can be treated and women’s lives saved if they have access to safe and sanitary birth delivery centers, delivery kits, trained birth attendants, antibiotics, clean blood transfusions and prevention and treatment of obstetric fistula."
According to the newspaper, the congressman added that an organized pro-life movement is needed in African nations like Nigeria because of the ratification of the African Union of Maputo Action Plan on Reproductive Health.
Nigeria is a signer on the document, which is seen as a plan towards population control that could promote abortions and even forced abortions or sterilizations like those seen in China.
Meanwhile, Dr. Njemanze accused international groups of running afoul of the Nigerian Constitution in seeking legalized abortion.
He attacked International Planned Parenthood and the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) as two groups trying to promote abortions there.
"It is criminal, it is abhorable, we condemn their activities towards abortion in strong terms" Dr. Njemanze stated, according to the Daily Champion.
He also called on local legislators to learn more about the attempts to force abortion on the Nigerian people.