Abortion, The Vatican and Amnesty International

by Damola Awoyokun

The issue of abortion is so emotive that it is prone to first class irrationalities and extremisms on the right and on the left. The call for Catholics to refuse membership of and refuse to finance Amnesty International because of its new ‘pro-abortion about-turn’ by Cardinal Renato Martino of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is at best condemnable. He said the move was the ‘inevitable consequence’ of a recent decision by Amnesty’s executive council to support access to abortion for women who had been raped or whose health was endangered by their pregnancy.

I don’t think it is appropriate to ask Americans or many Europeans to give up their citizenships since their laws recognize a woman’s right to abortion. Neither does it make sense to ask them to stop paying tax since it is also used to enforce their laws. An option of radical dissociation is not a one-size-fits-all panacea. Certainly in this case it does not fit at all.

Amnesty International stands for and fights for human rights globally- women and children rights, migrants’ rights, economic and welfare rights. It fights against racial, sexual and religious discriminations, arm control, children soldiers, death penalty, torture, and genocide.

I am a passionate opponent of abortion myself even to the degree of its recourse in the case of rape but when the life of the mother is in danger and there is nothing else to do, it is not abortion in the true sense of the word but a regrettable necessity. However if the mother chooses to go instead, she is a hero sacrificing her life for her baby. If it’s the baby that goes, s/he is the hero sacrificing his/her little life for the mother.

This moral dilemma is sustained because of the inadequacies of the present state of medical science and technology. Once they improve, we don’t have to choose who to go or who to stay anymore. After all before the rapid progress of science and technology, when these gynaecological situations of choice present themselves, both mother and pregnancy goes. So the proposed practice of ‘regrettable necessity’ is still a work in progress.

Damola Awoyokun


Continence International

(a pro-life policy centre)


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chi June 27, 2007 - 4:01 pm

I congratulate this writer for his forthrightness. It is clear by its stance that the Vatican is not on the side of the people. It is simply a power brokering political cum overarching ecclesiastic class. Do you need proof?

1 – The Vatican did very little to dissuade the Nazi's during their rampage that led to the holocausts and millions of death that attended the 2nd World War.

2 – The Vatican does not support the use of contraceptives – especially condoms even though it retards the spread of sexually transmitted diseases which kills millions of people every year.

The Vatican is busy protesting the God-given right of a woman to her body while doing very little to prevent the death of 12,000,000 (twelve million) living children who will unnecessarily die this year from preventable causes of hunger, politics and diseases. This means children who make up 3 times the population of Liberia will die this year while the Church is busy fighting the use of condoms. My question to them is "What would Jesus have done?" Would Jesus prefer to have millions of people dying from AIDS or would he rather have them using condoms and staying alive long enough to repent of their "sins"?

enitanmason@gmail.com June 26, 2007 - 4:41 pm

Let those who get pregnant make educated decisions about their reproductive systems! Let others spend valuable time attending to the problems that plague the already born and living. A woman's body should be a woman's choice.

Rosie June 22, 2007 - 11:30 am

I am unapologetically pro-choice. Mostly because as a woman, I empathize with the choices women have to make in life and not many of them are easy. Personally, if faced with the a pregnancy, planned or otherwise, I would joyfully have my child. But that's just me. I can't force my values on other people and I don't expect other people to force their values on me. God gave woman that responsibility of bearing children because I think God knew if left to man, the issue of abortion would not even be an issue. Like Viagra, it would be very prevalent in many societies. I also object to men having an opinion on abortion – anyone who has no ovaries or birth canal really have no saying in the mater. When one has had the experience of pushing something that is 9lbs and 2oz through an opening that is a few inches in diameter, one can appreciate the brevity of being a mother.


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