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Friday, June 21, 2024

LIBERIA: ABORTION LEGALIZATION CONSIDERED PRIOR TO ELECTIONS

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Sources close to the Weah regime have revealed that the Liberian Government is contemplating the legalization of abortion ahead of the upcoming October elections. Currently, the bill is under discussion in the Joint Committee room of the Senate, where its potential legalization is being deliberated. Liberia, a conservative society deeply rooted in religious beliefs, faces a significant decision on this matter. Liberian Journalist, Lyndon J. Ponnie reports.

The debate on the bill was suspended before the Liberian legislature recessed until after the elections, which are scheduled for October 10. However, there have been reports indicating that President George Weah may recall the national legislature to address other pressing matters that were not previously discussed. One of these issues is the potential passage of the abortion bill.

United States Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chair of the House Global Health and Global Human Rights Subcommittee, recently issued the following statement regarding Liberian efforts to expand abortion and promote population control:

 “The Liberian Senate must live up to its obligations to defend life at all stages from womb to tomb and must reject any changes to their national law that would weaken protections for unborn children, including proposals allowing unrestricted abortion until 18 weeks.

Abortion takes the life of an unborn child, who can feel the pain of abortion, and abortion harms the mother psychologically, spiritually and often physically. Rather, protections should be enhanced for mothers and unborn children.

For our part, the US Congress will thoroughly examine whether the Biden Administration broke US law and violated the Siljander Amendment by promoting abortion in Liberia and whether it is overlooking the corruption of the Weah Administration in order to secure acquiescence for its neo-colonialist population control agenda.”

Smith has accused Sweden of allegedly bribing people in the legislature, the government and other places to ensure the passage of the bill.

Reacting to the allegation by Representative Smith,  the Government of Sweden though did not name Rep. Smith, disclosed it remains steadfast in supporting pro-choice activists and funding campaigns that advocate for the legalization of abortion in Liberia even though it “respects the views of religious leaders” who oppose abortion.

Swedish Ambassador to Liberia  Urban Sjöström, spoke to a local newspaper a few days after members of Liberia’s Religious Council strongly criticized the Swedish Embassy in Liberia for funding campaigns that push for the legalization of abortion in Liberia.

The Council spoke as the Senate attempts to amend the Public Health Law to make abortion legal after coming under intense pressure from the Amplifying Rights Network, a coalition of ten civil society organizations, which is allegedly supported by the Swedish government and has been pushing and holding campaigns for the decriminalization of abortion.

“Yes, Sweden supports decriminalization of abortion, as recommended in WHO’s 2022 Abortion Care Guideline, which recommends the full decriminalization of abortion,” Sjöström said in response to an email from a local paper, Daily Observer seeking comments.  

“Sweden recognizes that this is a complex issue in Liberia and in many countries and respects the views of the leaders of faith-based organizations in Liberia. But the ongoing process to revise Liberia’s public health law is a domestic endeavor that follows the integrity and independence of Liberia’s law-making process. Sweden applauds the initiative and supports CSO’s who stand behind the bill and will continue to support them in their important work.

It is not clear, how President Weah, a preacher man in a church, would want to recall the Legislature, to amongst other things pass the abortion bill. Eyes are on the Legislature on this.

smartnews
Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet and a product of Smart Media Group Inc. Our website, smartnewsliberia.com, covers a broad spectrum of news content. For inquiries or information, you can reach us at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or email us at smartnewsliberia@gmail.com or info@smartnewsliberia.com.

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