Saving Lives in Africa
By Scott Fischbach, Executive Director
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life
As we commemorate the fateful 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions that struck down protections for unborn children in our own country, it is important to note that many countries around the globe still have protections against abortion in place. In the Southern Hemisphere, and in particular on the continent of Africa, many nations still protect unborn children from conception until natural death.
Pro-life laws in Africa are under constant attack and increasingly difficult to protect. As Americans, we know how hard it is to restore protections for the unborn once they have been stripped away. It is with that knowledge that Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) began its Global Outreach or GO! program nearly two years ago. The simple mission of MCCL GO! is to save as many lives as possible from the destruction of abortion by working with pro-life groups globally and in Africa in particular to empower them to fight for life!
Wealth of Resources
The pro-life movement in the United States has an enormous wealth of educational resources that needs to be shared with the global pro-life movement. As the Internet and all forms of media pull the global community closer and closer together, greater opportunities to network and share between nations and continents become possible. The very same set of fetal models that has saved lives at a county fair in rural Minnesota can do the same thing at a school in Kampala, Uganda!
Educational brochures showing fetal development can be posted on the MCCL GO! web site (www.mccl-go.org), downloaded anywhere in the world, and printed in color by anyone who has Internet access. This is an extremely powerful tool when lives are at stake … and lives are at stake in Africa.
Meetings with African Leaders
During a recent trip to Africa I was encouraged to finally meet with several of the contacts that we have been corresponding with for the last year or so. To see the efforts they are making on behalf of the unborn is extremely encouraging. A four-day conference held by Pro-Life Tanzania in Dar es Salaam was attended by pro-life leaders from five African countries. The conference was highly effective, filled with educational training and sharing about the latest pro-life efforts taking place in each country.
It is important to note that while the general populace of Africa is pro-life, many outside pro-abortion forces are spending enormous resources to try to gut pro-life laws and push abortion on demand on the people. International Planned Parenthood, Marie Stopes International, and especially UNFPA are among leading groups that are targeting Africa. In fact, Marie Stopes has already set up 29 clinics in South Africa alone with the “goal” of “preventing unwanted births.”
Foreigners Promote Abortion
In addition to the efforts of pro-abortion organizations, many foreign governments are actively engaged in pushing a pro-abortion agenda in Africa. The Obama administration, for example, recently spent more than $60 million to successfully persuade Kenyans to adopt a new constitution that will lead to abortion deaths in that east African country.
Promoters of abortion in Africa are using the same old deceit that they have used in many countries in the past. It is a pretty simple formula of lies and half-truths that goes like this. Manipulate the press to reiterate the false and dangerous claims by their so-called “experts” on maternal mortality issues that women are dying from illegal abortions and that legalization of abortion will save women’s lives, rather than promoting what really save women’s lives–adequate obstetric care. Then they argue for the legalization of abortion on demand and help find foreign non-governmental organizations that will help pay for it. In several east African countries we see this same old formula put into practice. But pro-life Africans are not retreating, they are fighting back!
Africa’s Pro-Life Movement
Uganda, located next to Kenya, is a great example of the pro-life movement on the rise! Ugandans have a zest for life and are working tirelessly to protect the unborn. Three primary MCCL GO! contacts in Uganda include Father Jonathan Opio of Ugandans for Life; Dr. Sandra Nabachwa, pro-life director of the Archdiocese of Kampala; and Richard Sempala of the Africa Life Youth Foundation.
Last summer, Opio and Sempala attended a Summit of the African Union nations where they were able to meet with numerous African leaders to advance the pro-life cause. All three Ugandan pro-life leaders are focused on outreach to youth, grassroots organizational building, and massive educational campaigns to get the pro-life message to as many Ugandans as possible. Many times this involves traveling long journeys on bad roads but they press on, bringing the truth about abortion to all who will listen—from large cities to small villages.
It is in working in cooperation with these African leaders that we will turn back the pro-abortion forces in Africa. The people of Africa are its greatest resource and its children are its greatest hope for a bright future. African nations can retain their pro-life laws but they will need help from the global pro-life community. Just as foreign pro-abortion forces are running rampant in Africa, we must continue to aid pro-life Africans in their own countries as they spread the pro-life message and save lives.