Abortion has become a hot topic in Namibia since a Windhoek writer and blogger, Beauty Boois, launched a petition earlier this month calling for abortion to be legalised in the country.
Last week, Pastor Zelda van der Collf of Windhoek responded by launching a petition calling on pro-lifers to reject legalisation of abortion — and this week the issue reached parliament after deputy minister of health Esther Muinjangue tabled a motion calling for debate on legalising abortion.
Currently abortion is only permitted in Namibia in the case of pregnancy as a result of rape or when serious health risks exist.
On her petition page, which currently has over 44 000 signatures, Boois argues that women have been left with no choice but to break the law to practise their right of choice, in the process risking their lives and health as well as their wellbeing to obtain illegal abortions.
Van der Colff, whose petition has over 13 600 signatures, stated that as a Christian pro-life citizen she could not be silenced as the future of Namibian generations would be aborted, reports The Herald newspaper.
Van der Colff called on fellow Christians to collectively reject the legalisation of abortion in Namibia. The pastor said they would not allow the “evil” of legalising abortion to look good under the system of human rights. She said keeping silence means they are giving God the approval to bring the wrath upon the nation because of unrighteous actions.
“We declared and stand on the biblical normal with the biblical principles that there is dignity for the unborn baby,” said Van der Colff.
Sharing similar sentiments, the president of the Association of Charismatic and Pentecostal Churches of Namibia (ACPCN) Jan Fritz Gaweseb said a foetus should not be abused through abortion.
“We should stop child abuse before birth has been given,” Gaweseb said.
He said those calling for legalising cosmetic abortion were given a chance by their parents and others to fulfil their God-given mission and purpose here on earth. “So let us not be selfish but also give those unborn babies equally and fairly that blessed opportunity of life.”
Reporting from the House of Assembly, The Namibian writes that president of the United Democratic Front (UDF) Apius !Auchab says the opposition party does not support abortion as they believe it is tantamount to murder.
“Why support something the Bible forbids? It’s murder. What’s the difference between killing a person and killing an unborn baby?” !Auchab asks.
He says if abortion is allowed, the country may as well free murderers.
!Auchab believes legalising abortion would encourage women to sell sex and have abortions.
“People will engage in unprotected sex,” he says.
Communities should be educated on the prevention of unplanned pregnancies, !Auchab says.
“Prevention is better than cure,” he says.
Last year president Hage Geingob told attendees at the National Theatre of Namibia in Windhoek the government will have to legalise abortion to prevent unnecessary deaths due to backstreet abortions.
“Whether it is legal or not, people are doing it,” Geingob told a weekly newspaper.
Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) president McHenry Venaani this month said Namibians should move away from religious and traditional beliefs when it comes to addressing the question of women’s rights.
Minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula recently said he could push to legalise abortion if he gets enough support from women.