Cote d’Ivoire Sliding into Abortion on Demand?


The most powerful west African nation after Nigeria, the Cote d’Ivoire, is considering a radical draft bill that would make the current situation – abortion only permitted when two physicians certify the woman’s health is endangered – openly available across the country. As we speak, this bill is still in the draft and consultative stage and lies in the hands of President Allasane Ouatarra. Unfortunately he has the power to pass such a bill and sign it in to law. The Church and Human Life International are among those vocal in opposing such a move. But President Ouattara is serving his last term thru 2020 and a move as touchy as this could only have been made by a president for whom votes are not likely to count much in the future. HLI’s Regional Director for Francophone Africa, George Wirnkar: “Those pushing abortion envelope their arguments in deceptive health platitudes and fake concern for the poor. But we know very well that abortion is never ‘health care.’”

HLI Regional Director for Francophone Africa


  • Despite existing law, abortion is practiced widely illegally, as is often the case in Africa. Population control forces use that reality to push their harmful agenda. Careful to stop short of supporting illegal abortion, international NGOs still work for radical legal change regarding the protection of life, marriage and the family. George Wirnkar: “In response, HLI is therefore employing local pro-life groups as well as our network of priest alumnae from our “SSI” or Seminarians’ Summer Institute” to expose the truth. We are working hard with the Church, the strongest opposition voice, and some ecumenical groups, to expose, denounce and resist a possible law.”

HLI’s 2018 SSI Institute held this year in Lomé, Togo

Dangers of the Draft Bill:

  • Decriminalizes abortion, allows “reproductive health” services from sex education to in vitro fertilization
  • Allows contraception for minors under age 16
  • Completely omits parents’ rights and disparages the family unit
  • Heavily stresses the individual’s “right” as sovereign (over rights of the baby, father, etc. for example)
  • Allows doctors to delegate family planning tasks to other medical professionals who are not MDs
  • No punishments specified for those who ignore the confines of the abortion bill
  • Would allow abortion if the woman has a baby with a serious malformation, if she says she is the victim of rape or incest, or if approved by three doctors


At this stage, decisive action is needed to: slow the progression of this draft, draw awareness of the MPs to the gravity of such a major and immoral change of laws on their watch, and cause a serious review of this bill taking into account Church concerns. The Church has presented a strong, united front and HLI will continue to support, complement and sustain this effort against the Culture of Death. As the bishops so aptly state, “The Catholic Church condemns opposed to all that is opposed to life!”



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