The world is paying its respects to civil rights leader and former South African president Nelson Mandela today, after learning that he passed away at the age of 95. While most people respect the civil rights and racial reconciliation work he did, some have questioned where Mandela stood on abortion.
John Smeaton, of the British pro-life group SPUC, offers this documentation about Mandela’s pro-abortion views. He writes as a Catholic but the comments are instructive of all pro-lifers to praise the good things Mandela did but to keep in mind he did not respect human life before birth.
“May God rest Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa who died last night,” he said. “But it is absolutely vital that Catholic leaders do not allow themselves to become respecters of persons, swept away by personality cults. Catholic leaders have a duty to stand up to public figures with anti-life and anti-family records, however praiseworthy their record may be on other issues. The sanctity of human life and the dignity of the family are the foundation and guarantee of all other human rights.”
Smeaton provided to LifeNews the following history of Mandel’s record on abortion.
Nelson Mandela and abortion
Mr Mandela has been quoted as saying on abortion: “Women have the right to decide what they want to do with their bodies.”
In 1996, Mandela signed into law the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Bill, which permits abortion on demand. SPUC’s pro-life colleagues in South Africa tells us that the bill was introduced into the South African parliament by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Mr Mandela’s health minister.
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In addition, the wording of the new South African constitution, signed by Mr Mandela in 1996, had made the legalisation of abortion on demand a mere formality. Mr Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) has a strong ideological committment to abortion, with the ANC Women’s League strongly behind the legalisation of abortion on demand.
The ANC has for decades been in a close political and electoral alliance with the South African Communist Party (SACP) (Mr Mandela pictured with SACP leader Joe Slovo) which also has a strong ideological committment to abortion.
Today, the pro-abortion group NARAL is applauding Mandela’s pro-abortion record.
— NARAL Pro-Choice MA (@ProChoiceMass) December 6, 2013