Stakeholders not consulted on abortion legalisation – Catholic Archbishop

The archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Alfred Adewale Martins has stated that the Lagos State government did not consult stakeholders in its decision to legalise abortion. The prelate also described the move by the government as unacceptable.

He noted that the legalisation of abortion based on the so-called health grounds was nothing but a means of legalising abortion through the backdoor and such move is not only unjustifiable but also unacceptable

The state government, through the permanent secretary of the ministry of health, Olusegun Ogboye had unveiled a 40-page policy document tagged “Lagos State Guidelines on Safe Termination of Pregnancy for Legal Indications” which is meant to legalise abortion based on health grounds.

However, in response to the move, the clergyman stated that it was untrue that all stakeholders were consulted in the process of drawing up the guidelines to legalise abortion.

According to him, “the issues of abortion touches very much on the ethical and religious sensibilities and religious bodies were not consulted.

In a July 3, 2022 press release by the Director of Social Communications of the Lagos Catholic Archdiocese, Anthony Godonu, the prelate stated that “the Catholic Church and all ethically-minded people oppose all forms of abortion procedures whose direct purpose is to terminate the life of a baby in the womb.”

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Speaking on the rights of the child in the womb, he noted that the baby in the womb is a person distinct from the mother even though he is in the mother’s womb.

“The unborn child has the right to live and be protected and not be killed by the fiat of an unjust law. Not even the mother has the right to kill him, talk less of the government purporting to give legal backing for their murder,” he said.

“We believe strongly that every human life must be respected and protected, especially the most vulnerable ones in the womb from the moment of their conception.”

The archbishop also stated that any attempt to terminate the life of the unborn child is tantamount to murder and should be treated as a capital offence.

The archbishop therefore called on the governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to use his good office to call the Ministry of Health to order and stop the implementation of the guidelines on the abortion.

“Our focus should be on proper enlightenment on human sexuality and collaboration in order to support women who fall pregnant without being ready for the pregnancy,” he said in the press release.