My recent mission to Gulu in Northern Uganda uncovered the shocking reality of the global anti-life agenda invading the Ugandan culture.
Sadly, Uganda is under attack by pro-abortion organizations lobbying the government to open doors for legalized abortion — including Uganda’s Ministry of Health, which has been especially targeted. These abortion groups are now lobbying the Ministry of Health to launch abortion guidelines for use in all health facilities within the country. Regardless of Uganda’s strong restrictions on abortion, these facilities will be required to provide abortion, under the flawed reasoning of reducing maternal mortality rates.
These international NGOs (without any regard of Ugandan laws, customs and the aspirations of the Ugandan people) have attempted to reinterpret the laws contrary to the intentions of the framers of the constitution and other statutory benchmarks. On their view, government officials can override even the constitution of a country!
Most troubling, however, is that I have started to receive reports that, under the guise of “post-abortion care,” abortions are being performed in Uganda’s Catholic and missionary hospitals. During a recent pro-life training session for nursing school students and staff at St. Mary’s Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in Uganda and was founded by Catholic missionaries. I was truly shocked when school and hospital officials gave testimonies that abortions performed at the hospital are called “therapeutic abortion,” surely one of the great oxymorons of our time.
We will be looking into these charges and discussing the matter with proper Church authorities. The Church in Uganda has been strong in the defense of life, and if these charges are true the Church will take measures to stop the killing of unborn children.
Many doctors have testified that abortion is never necessary to save a mother’s life. When a mother’s health is compromised by conditions related to her pregnancy, one must treat both mother and child as patients. The Catholic Church has long held that while one may never directly attack the life of a human being, even to save another, it is permissible – if every other option has been exhausted – to intervene to save the life of the mother with procedures that may indirectly result in the death of the child. But neither mother nor baby is to be directly harmed – both are human beings, as every mother knows!
Those who truly want to improve women’s health will find a wide area of agreement with the Catholic Church in the need for improvement of prenatal care and education, birth attendant training, and improvements in hospitals. Countries like Chile and Ireland have seen improvements in maternal outcomes when these key issues are addressed, even as many countries who liberalize abortion law see a lack of improvement in maternal mortality if they only see abortion as a “solution.”
We are reminded, as if we needed another reminder, that those who bring abortion to poor countries are so blinded by their population control ideology that even those who mean well, who really want to help, are only helping to hold our country down.
What Uganda needs:
- Laws that clearly operationalize the anti-abortion portions of the constitution;
- A constitutional pronouncement on the actions of the Ministry of Health;
- Open forums with policy makers and all stakeholders on the dangers of anti-life mentalities;
- A call to action by religious leaders and cultural leaders, including political leaders to stand up for the dignity of all life from conception to natural death.
Please pray for a change of heart for all government officials to protect life, faith, and family in Uganda, fighting (not embracing) the anti-life initiatives encroaching on the Ugandan way of life.