Twenty years of abortion on demand in SA
Opportunity to take part in prayer and action
Abortion on demand was legalised in South Africa 20 years ago on February 1 1997 with the passing of the Termination of Pregnancy Act — probably the most controversial and unpopular legislation to be enacted in the new South Africa.
At the time the Ministry of Health reported receiving hundreds of thousands of submissions concerning the proposed legislation — with overy 98% opposing legalisation of abortion.
Tens of thousands marched to Parliament to, amongst other concerns, oppose abortion. Scores of delegations, and thousands of submissions to the Constitutional Assembly also implored the authorities not to legalise the killing of pre-born babies. Many surveys and opinion polls confirmed that the vast majority of South Africans were against abortion.
South Africa seems to be the first country where a vigorous pro-life movement was already established before the legalisation of abortion, says Africa Christian Action (ACA) in a press release. The organisation Pro-Life was launched in 1977 in response to the legalisation of abortion in the so-called hard cases of “rape, incest, mother’s life in danger, deformities, and the mother’s mental health”. And the Protestant pro-life movement in South Africa was launched in earnest in 1991 by ACA and Christians for Truth. ACA published the first pro-life leaflets and the first pro-life handbook for South Africa – Fight for Life, and organised the first pro-life demonstrations and life chains.
Why is the Church silent?
“How is it that, despite such initial opposition to the legalisation of abortion, we still have abortion twenty years on? Why has the Church grown silent? Have we accepted the status quo and given up? Or have we become too afraid to speak out?” ACA’s Dr Peter Hammond asks.
“I do believe there is hope. If we repent of our silence and begin to speak out, God will have mercy on South Africa. There are several countries where abortion has become illegal again. In Poland, under communist rule there were consistently over 100 000 abortions registered each year. In 1990, with both the church and doctors discouraging abortion, the numbers fell to 59 400. Then in 1993, abortion was banned except for danger to the life of the mother, fetal handicap or rape,” he says.
This week in the United States President Donald Trump signed an order defunding organisations that perform or promote abortion in foreign countries. He acted days after half a million women opposed to his election and demanding the right to choose abortion, marched on the streets of Washington DC on Saturday. Many more women turned out in support of them in other parts of the US and the world. Tomorrow (Friday January 27) it will be the turn for pro-life America to stand up and be counted when hundreds of thousands of people are expected to participate in the 44th annual March for Life where they will mourn the death of 60 million pre-born babies since the legalisation or abortion on demand in America.
In Paris tens of thousands of French pro-lifers turned out on Sunday (January 22) to march for life on the streets of the capital and to stand up to the government which plans to ban pro-life websites which offer advice and support to women facing unwanted pregnancies.
Upcoming marches, vigils and events
Next week Christians in Cape Town will have an opportunity to participate in prayer and action to oppose abortion and defend the right of pre-born babies to live.
On Wednesday February 1 Africa Christian Action will hold a prayer vigil outside the gates of Parliament (at the corner of Roeland and Plein Streets) from 1pm to 1.30pm. A short Memorial Service and wreath laying ceremony will be held in memory of the babies killed by abortion in South Africa since 1997. This will be preceded by a March for Life – in the form of a Funeral Procession to Parliament. The procession will gather at the Keizersgracht parking lot below Cape Peninsula University of Technology (and near to the wall painting of an African woman) and march down Darling Street, left into Buitenkant Street, then into Plein Street. Participants should meet in Keizersgracht Street by 12:30pm and are asked to dress in black if possible.
National Alliance for Life-Gauteng invites all interested persons and parties to a pro-life conference in Pretoria on Saturday morning on February 25 2017.
Dr Albu van Eeden, President of NAL and Doctors for Life is the main speaker at the conference. Pro-life organisations are invited to present their activities by participating in the planned exhibition. There will also be an opportunity for some of them to give a short report of their experiences of their endeavour to promote life from conception until natural death.
A pro-life placard demonstration (Life Chain) under the auspices of NAL will follow after the conference on the same day. The NAL is a platform for pro-life organisations, churches and individuals. Its aim is to let the voice of all pro-lifers in South Africa be heard.
As the NAL is not a constitutionally based organisation, any group that joins in the demonstrations with the same aim, may keep/display its own identity and placards, if it so wishes.
Times and venues for the NAL events are:
Conference: Petra Full Gospel Church of God. Corner Francis Baard Street and Wessels Street (Across from the Pretoria Art Museum).
Time: Saturday 25 February from 08h30 to 11h30.
Life chain: Corner of Steve Biko and Park Street, Pretoria.
Time: Saturday 25 February from 12h00 to 14h00.
For more information contact: Gregory Pereira 083 359 5093 (email@example.com)
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