Christian groups marching for ‘personhood’
Between 1 000 and 2 000 people are expected to take part in a pro-life march in Phoenix, Durban on Sunday, February 10.
The march will be the first time in South Africa that a united front of Christian groups will focus on ‘personhood’ — a key, new pro-life approach that recognises that every unborn baby is a person and that abortion kills a human being.
The 2km march which is open to everybody will include a motorcade of cars, buses, trucks and trailers showcasing the marchers’ pro-life stance. The ‘Impilo on Wheels’ truck will open up forming a stage for musicians and a speaker who will present a sanctity of life message. A memorandum demanding that the Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1997 be amended to remove legalised abortion in South Africa, will be handed over to the government. The Mayor of eThekwini, James Nxumalo, the
KZN MEC of Health, Dr Sibongiseni Maxwell Dhlomo, and the Premier of KZN, Dr Zweli Mkhize, have been invited to attend. There will also be artists galore and an exciting programme.
Danie Bosman, President of Christians For Truth (CFT); Pastor Aaron Munsamy, President of City Connect ministers’ fraternals and forums; the Verulam Youth Forum; and Christian radio stations have joined forces to organise the march which will start at Phoenix Central Park, opposite the Phoenix Plaza, KZN, at 13h00 on February 10. Further details can be obtained from the CFT office on (032) 481 5512 or from Pastor Aaron Munsamy on 083 976 1847 or from Pastor Mannie Royon 084 6605 721.
16th anniversary of legalisation of abortion
The march is one of a number of Christian pro-life events around the country to mark the 16th anniversary of the legalisation of abortion in South Africa. The abortion law was approved on February 1, 1997 against the wishes of most South Africans. Some 1,1 million babies have been killed by abortion since then and about 1 500 abortions are carried out per day in South Africa.
Responding to the abortion status in South Africa, national Christians For Truth president, Danie Bosman, said that every human being is God’s creation and entitled to the right of life from conception. He called on Christians to stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
“Our pro-life worldview needs to change!” he said. “We need to adjust our strategy and message to one of ‘personhood’ so that we can successfully transition our base from being primarily anti-abortion to recognising and protecting the sanctity of life whenever it is being assaulted.”
The ‘personhood’ approach that seeks to protect all human life from the moment of conception is supported by overwhelming scientific and medical consensus that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being.
Daniel Becker, in his book ‘Personhood’ writes: “Having failed to stop abortion in the past, we are now experiencing the long prophesied ‘slippery slope’ effect – the assault on innocent lives by means of emerging technology supported by uninformed public sentiment, unrestrained by moral absolutes. The battleground for the sanctity of life in the 21st Century has moved well beyond abortion. Major biotech research labs routinely kill children at an embryonic level through using unethical research methods, and are now allied with the old abortion lobby against human dignity. Add to this the frustration felt by the vast majority of younger pro-life advocates whose unanswered questions are ‘Why did our parents’ generation fail to stop abortion? Where did they go wrong? Why haven’t we been able to outlaw this evil?’ “
Endorsed by new generation of ministries
He continues: “Basically, if we do what we always did, then we get what we always got … nothing! This frustration has resulted in the wholesale endorsement of’ “Personhood” as a legal and public policy objective among a new generation of pro-life ministries in the United States. Many are now questioning the long-standing pro-life strategy of seeking legal limitation and regulation of abortion; instead they are actively engaged in promoting the larger issue of ‘personhood’.
Becker offers the following definition of ‘personhood’: “It is the recognition by our culture and our government that each individual human life has an ‘unalienable’ right to life from its earliest biological beginning.This right to life extends to natural death, regardless of one’s disability, gender, race, dependency or manner of conception, which includes the pre-born. The “unalienable” right to life comes from God by virtue of the fact, that we have been created in His image and are thus imbued with a unique worth and dignity not found in the rest of creation.
“Only ‘persons’ are recognized as having legal standing. So this recognizes that the term ‘person’ be constitutionally defined to include all classes of human life, which would include the pre-born.”
CFT’s Bosman says: “Christians for Truth are pro-Personhood because God is pro-Personhood. The sanctity of life ethic is biblically revealed in many passages of Scripture. The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah, as well as John the Baptist, were known by God in the womb and called by God from the womb. The Bible reveals that the pre-born have individuality, worth and purpose in the eyes of God. We therefore need to establish our pro-life policy, strategies and political action on the same theological, philosophical and political basis.”
Becker offers a case study on how to start a ‘personhood’ strategy.He writes: “On July 20, 2010, Georgia became the first state in the USA to have many of its primary voters approve, via a nonbinding straw poll, a call for a Personhood amendment to its state constitution. In 46 counties Georgia voters said yes to the question “Do you support an amendment to the Georgia State Constitution so as to provide that the paramount right to life is vested in each human being from the moment of fertilization until a natural death?” It passed overwhelmingly among Republican primary voters in every county with an average percentage of 75%. This fell to 72% in Democratic counties. Our largest and most liberal urban counties, surrounding metro Atlanta, approved the question 60% and 62% respectively.
“A little over three months later, in the November 2010 elections, Georgia voters chose for the first time to elect candidates who were pro-life without “exceptions” for every statewide constitutional office! Not only did they not endorse exceptions, but every office – from governor to lieutenant governor to attorney general, all the way down to public service commissioner (nine offices total) – declared their support for a Personhood amendment to Georgia’s constitution.
These remarkable political victories didn’t occur in a vacuum but were the result of a decade of a focus on Personhood educationally, politically and legislatively.
‘Delay not an option’
“Delaying a Personhood strategy is not an option. The future waits for no man. When we stand with Biblical courage and the moral certitude of our position, God works on our behalf empowering us to triumph, both politically and legislatively.
“The right to life is the most fundamental right of every human person. To violate this right, to destroy a life, to kill a human being at any age or stage of development – whether in the womb or out of the womb – is a crime against God and humanity.
“The status of personhood bestows rights and the protection of the law on the foetus.”
Project manager of the pro-life march for ‘personhood’ in Phoenix, Pastor Munsamy,said: “For evil to flourish good people must do nothing!” He called on churches, schools, doctor’s, senior citizens, NPOs, PBOs and all pro-lifers to turn out in numbers on February 10 to speak for those that cannot.
‘Personhood’ by Daniel Becker
‘What Does Science Reveal About When Life Begins?’ by Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldonobinson