Saturday, 16 November 2013

Rochas’ abortion law MUST GO

This is a reply to A. Abimbola Adelakun article in the punch newspaper (online) on September 19, 2013 titled “Rochas’ abortion law should stay".

There are a few things about A. Abimbola Adelakun article on September 19, 2013 titled “Rochas’ abortion law should stay” that has compelled me to write this response. Large parts of it contained disturbing language, sentiments and soundbites that have long been used by professional and career pro-abortion campaigners to advocate for a procedure that even by her acknowledgement has a terrible physical and psychological effect on women. It hovered around the peripheral issues concerning the politics of abortion playing out in most countries, appealed to emotion and even delved into religion whilst expertly ignoring the “mighty elephant in the room”. This has always been the “modus operandi” of career abortionist.
Before I go ahead to deconstruct her arguments, I think it is important to deal with this “proverbial elephant”. When it comes to abortion, it is sometimes necessary to leave the politics out and deal with the substance. What we are talking about here is the Sanctity of Human Life, the rights accorded it and at what stage. Let me state three facts at this point. Firstly, human life begins from the moment of conception. None of us can point to any other moment other than conception and say “that is when I began to be me”. Abimbola did not tell us when human life actually begins. As human beings, it is important not to deny that our physical development at our present age is not the same when we were teenagers, adolescents, infants, babies or foetuses. Even the word Foetus which comes from the Latin word Fetura –ae, f means a young brood or offspring.  We all started (me and you) as one. ‘We are who we are now, physically, because we developed from what we used to be’. Once conception has taken place and an embryo is formed, if you give it time, let’s say 9 months or 28 years, the only other thing it could be is an infant or adult respectively. It cannot be something else, ever!
Secondly, in a civilized society, Human Life should be preserved, protected and nurtured from the point of conception to its natural end. Finally, every human life is bestowed with certain inalienable ‘rights’, the foremost amongst them: THE RIGHT TO LIFE. Any argument that doesn’t address these three premises directly would be begging the question. This was what made her article the more frustrating because at no point did she make any attempt to address any of these which is very crucial to the moral issue surrounding abortion, but was happy to dance around its politics –left vs. right, liberals vs. conservatives. Let’s forget this ideological label for once and face moral question of abortion. Being prolife is much of a leftist position as it is a conservative stance. It was Medhi Hassan who once wrote in an article for the Newstatesman: here

“Abortion is one of those rare political issues on which left and right seem to have swapped ideologies: right-wingers talk of equality, human rights and “defending the innocent”, while left-wingers fetishise “choice”, selfishness and unbridled individualism.
“My body, my life, my choice.” Such rhetoric has always left me perplexed. Isn’t socialism about protecting the weak and vulnerable, giving a voice to the voiceless? Who is weaker or more vulnerable than the unborn child? Which member of our society needs a voice more than the mute baby in the womb?
Yes, a woman has a right to choose what to do with her body – but a baby isn’t part of her body. The 24-week-old foetus can’t be compared with an appendix, a kidney or a set of tonsils; it makes no sense to dismiss it as a “clump of cells” or a “blob of protoplasm”. However, my motive for writing this column is not merely to revisit ancient arguments, or kick off a philosophical debate on the distinctions between socialism (with its emphasis on equality, solidarity and community) and liberalism (with its focus on individual freedom, autonomy and choice) …”

Let’s deal with the question of “choice” that is always bandied about by career abortionist. It might sound counter intuitive, but I am all for choice (i.e I am prochoice) and individuals acting freely, but as I have mentioned on another forum “When the term a ‘right to choose’ is used, it speaks to its very essence: the question of freedom. Even common law grants us this very essential faculty, but as in common law, this freedom is not absolute. This usually becomes clear when it involves two or more people. As a result, society has a mechanism to ensure the balancing of the very exercise of this freedom. To choose implies that there is more than one alternative. “So, if I am free to choose from more than one alternative why stop me from choosing in this case?” you may ask. Well, society has the responsibility to balance rights in order to ensure a sense of justice, equity, but more crucially to all facets of human society; to a sense of what is Right.  Make no mistake about this, when a woman is pregnant, the ‘rights’ of two (or more in the case of twins…) individuals are at stake.
Abimbola’s failure to address these facts, but instead portray everyone with a prolife persuasion as a religious nutter” doesn’t fly.  You don’t need to have a faith to recognize the importance of protecting life.  This is a subject that bothers on natural law and as such should imprint in the conscience of all people whether you are Theist, Atheist or Non-Theist. One of the world’s most renowned and celebrated Atheist, the late Christopher Hitchens was known to be very much prolife as with a lot of other people with no faith.  So, let’s get this straight, Abortion for whatever reason is an intrinsically evil act, faith or no faith.
An unwanted Pregnancy is not the end of the world. There are families out there prepared to adopt the child and take care of the baby should the mother be in a position not be able to. I cringed and almost leapt out of my skin when I read this in her article:

“And to those who make the banal argument of if-your-parents-did-not-give-birth-to-you-would-you-be-here, I ask in return, “Since your birth, what good have you done the planet?”

Abimbola, maybe you might not have done any good to the planet, I for one have and I am sure a lot of others have. While her comment that “Catholics are already ahead of the Vatican dictates” is about as silly a statement as you will ever come across. So, because some (very important qualification) Catholics  use contraception despite the church’s teaching does not in the same vain make  Catholics ahead of the Church because some Catholics ‘lie’ or ‘steal’. To be frank, I am not sure that comment deserved the dignity of a reply.
And on the question of Maternal Mortality Rate, abortion is not a medical treatment and there is no evidence to show that it saves life.  It is known in medical parlance that “Abortion is never medically necessary to save the life of a mother”. On the other, hand experience has shown that it leaves women in a worse state than they were before the procedure.
 It is important to clarify that there is no correlation between strict abortion laws and the rate of maternal mortality (MMR). It, on the other hand, depends on the quality and accessibility of healthcare to pregnant women. If you look at the chat (courtesy of the CIA) on maternal mortality rate (MMR) worldwide, you will notice that countries with poor healthcare system (African countries) top the chat. Countries like Poland, Malta, Lithuania, Ireland and so many others have a lower MMR than even the US or UK (with liberal abortion laws) with their very restrictive abortion laws. Chile with one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world has a low MMR (almost comparable to that of the UK and US). Taking the Chile example, it was noted that the MMR has undergone a tremendous reduction over the last 50 years, despite the fact that it has continually tightened its abortion law over the last 25 years. It showed that MMR fell irrespective of the change in law. I think this is the point Gov. Rochas Okorocha should reflect on and as with education and other social infrastructure, healthcare especially for pregnant women (planned or unplanned) should be of pristine quality and easily accessible.
In the world today there is a momentum and a ground swell of popular opinion going against the abortion mindset. In the state of Texas (where Abimbola presently resides) a new law restricting abortion and which could lead to the closure of a lot of the clinics was recently passed into law.
Anyone who has seen a sonogram or seen when babies struggle for life during an abortion procedure will never deny the humanity of an unborn baby. That is why wealthy abortion providers are prepared to fight at any cost to prevent a change in law that will require women seeking to procure an abortion to sit through the ultrasound scan of the baby first, to prevent them having a change of heart. There have been numerous cases of women opting against having abortion after viewing the ultrasound scan. We know of the case of Abby Johnson (who herself had 2 abortions in her early 20’s), a planned parenthood Director in Texas who became prolife when viewing a baby struggle for life during an abortion procedure. There is also the story of Dr Bernard Nathanson, a doctor who was known to have carried out more abortion than any other doctor in his base of Newyork City. He went through a change of heart when viewing on an ultrasonic scan, the baby he was trying to abort, evade his clinical equipments. He vowed, from that day, never to carry out an abortion again. Norma McCorvey, popularly referred by her pseudonym of ‘Jane Roe’ of “Roe vs Wade”, the infamous supreme court ruling that paved the way for the legalization of abortion in the US, is now a prolife activist and unsuccessfully sought to have a judicial review of the 1973 judgment. These cases are replicate worldwide and are increasingly becoming the norm. This is the reason why a lot of abortion providers are struggling stop the law from changing and remain in business. Why would Nigeria then seek to be moving towards abortion when the rest of the world is trying to move the other way.
Contrary to Abimbola’s belief, opinion polls consistently show that more women are against abortion than men the world over. In fact a You-Gov poll conducted last year in the UK showed that 49 per cent of women, compared to 24 per cent of men, support a reduction in the abortion limit.  The “march for life” that is held regularly around the world is overwhelming dominated my women of all ages.
 As an indigene of Imo State, I would advice Gov. Rochas Okorocha to listen to the voice of his people and to do away with such dehumanising, vile and obnoxious law. He should strive to use his mandate to provide for and protect all human life to be best of his abilities from the “womb to the tomb”. After all he was put there by them to be their servant as he regularly reminds all in the media.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


The following is my response to a tweet of someone I follow: Fiona Hanley @GreenClouds4. I have posted her original tweet first, followed by my response.

#equalmarriage Nobody's arguing that the bible is a complex document, that there are contradictions, that it has some daft stuff (killing infants etc) anyone with a lick of sense ignores. It was authored through centuries of oral tradition, and translated through several dead languages. So some confusion about what exactly was meant in what instance is understandable. Much more likely Jesus was discriminating against the one way street practice of patriarchal polygamy than against gay couples when he said marriage was between a man and woman. We just don't know. However for the prevention of doubt and given the complexity of what went before Him, Jesus had two laws. And He said "All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." No wriggle room, no exceptions, no qualifications, no room for misunderstanding whatsoever. One of these laws was "Love your neighbour as yourself." So there is no "Separate but equal" (the clue is in the 'but'). Civil partnership is not marriage, it is less than marriage. Don't forget when equal marriage passes into law, the Church of England will still maintain that some people's love may be sanctified in the House of God and some people's may not. This is in direct violation of a very simple, beautiful and stern law Jesus was at pains to point out is inviolate. I hope some day Christian opponents of marriage equality will change their minds and in the meantime it behoves them to consider the above before lobbying politicians that some people's right to love is less equal than others.

Before I respond, I would like to state that there are two arguments against same sex marriage – SSM (as opposed to equal marriage as no one is advocating un-equal marriage, certainly not the churches). One is based on the religious argument while the other is based on reason flowing from human nature, understanding and experience. However, because you specifically argued the religious (Christian) position, the focus of my response shall solely be the Christian position, which for avoidance of doubt, is unequivocal and not subject to doubt. I will address your points using the same sequence employed by you.

Number 1: Sacred Scriptures does not contradict itself. As Christians (Catholics specifically) we share a common believe that God either inspired the writings and/or writers of the pages of the Sacred Scriptures. So whether it’s a cultural legend, poem, historical narrative or account, vision, prophecy, letters, e.t.c, whatever the intention of the autograph (by the original writer / author) of the pages of Sacred Scriptures. Once it has been canonically established by the church that these particular writings has been inspired by God; collectively as put together, they tell us God’s word. Therefore, though Sacred Scriptures has several authors, there is only one primary author, God. If this is correct, the autograph of the pages of Sacred Scriptures did not err or misrepresent God’s message as He the Primary Author inspired the writings and/or the writers and since God cannot contradict Himself, it is safe to conclude that Sacred Scriptures, put down as intended in the autographs, all of whom/which were inspired by God, has no contradictions. This is what all Catholics Believe.

Number 2: If the position above is accepted, the critical challenge now is interpretation of these pages. Now, for it to be accurate and hence reveal God’s intention, it must take into consideration the context in which it was written, what the writers intended while writing and the type of writing it is (cultural legend, poem, historical narrative or account, vision, prophecy, letters, e.t.c).  Therefore a couple of things should be noted, First special care is taken, in the process of interpreting sacred scriptures. It is to this end that Pope Leo XIII urged correct hermeneutical methods should be employed in adequately interpreting these sacred texts.  In doing this he was affirming the solemn definition and confirmation of the councils of Trent, Florence and Vatican I. Secondly, the interpretation of Sacred Scriptures cannot be effective without the aid of Sacred Tradition (the Gospel which was put under the care of the Apostles by Christ himself and who in their own part and by their Oral preaching, way of life, observance and liturgy handed them on the Bishops their successor to preserve). By implication, correct interpretation of Scriptures cannot be done without the aid of Sacred Tradition. To this end, the works and examples of early church Fathers (those who were followers of the Apostles and/or followers of their followers) together with the works of biblical scholars, exegetes and theologians who in rendering their service to the church play a crucial role to scriptural interpretation. Since Christ entrusted his Holy Apostles with the task of preserving and passing on, unadulterated, his word and since the Apostles in turn handed on that responsibility to their successors, the Bishops, it behoves that the authentic interpretation on matters as related to faith and morals and as contained in Scared Scriptures or Tradition lies definitively with the Magisterium (the College of Bishops with the Pope as the visible sign of their unity) of the Church. This has been the belief of the Church and was reaffirmed by VATICAN II. This is what all Catholics Believe.
Note: The teaching of the Magisterium of the Church on Same Sex Marriage is a matter of public record and is unequivocal.

Number 3: I would like to move on to your interpretation of the relevant passages of scriptures. You said
‘Much more likely Jesus was discriminating against the one way street practice of patriarchal polygamy than against gay couples when he said marriage was between a man and a woman’.  We just don’t know.’
Ok, giving that Jesus Christ explicitly stated that Marriage should be an indissoluble union between a Man and a Woman (his wife) and this account is clearly reported by the writers of the Gospels attributed to at least Mathew, Mark and Luke, what can the rest of scriptures tell about Christ’s view on SSM? Focusing squarely on Paul’s writing (without considering all other texts both old and new which unequivocally condemns homosexual acts, to which makes it impossible to consummate a union of two people of the same sex). Paul, that tireless worker of Christ and Apostle to the Gentiles, explicitly condemns homosexual acts in strong terms in his letters to the Romans, to the Church in Corinth, to his companion, Timothy when exhorting him, under the inspiration and instruction of Christ. In using such strong adjectives, Paul confirmed what other scriptural writers had already made clear on God’s condemnation of such acts.

Number 4: The question of Love. When Christ was reaffirming the teachings of the 10 commandments to love God with all our hearts and minds and to love our neighbor as ourselves, was he talking about marital love or the need to be charitable to one another including our enemies. It would in fact have been highly inconsistent and contradictory of Christ to have been speaking of marital love in that instant and yet condemn polygamy. That would have been a direct affront against the 6th and to some extent the 10th commandment. What kind of Love was he talking about? It could be argued that during his time the understanding of Marriage could have tilted more towards propagation of generation and family life. It is therefore unlikely that Christ would have also made room for SSM when teaching to love our neighbors as ourselves’. Not to forget to ‘love our enemies as well’.

Putting all these in consideration, it is very surprising to maintain that Christian Morality as taught does not concretely condemn SSM.

Special Note: No Catholic is allowed under the guise of his faith to condemn, discriminate, abuse, insult, assault, torture, persecute or attack people who are inclined to have Same Sex attraction. The church absolutely forbids and condemns such acts. There is clearly a distinction between condemning Homosexual acts and attacking People with same sex inclination.