Obianuju Ekeocha, a biomedical scientist, is the president of Culture of Life Africa, an all-African pro-life organisation. Recently she visited Ireland and gave an interview to Eilís Mulroy of the Pro Life Campaign. Ekeocha spoke powerfully about how western countries attempt to introduce abortion to African countries in tandem with aid – this combination makes it more difficult for African leaders to reject it, part of a problem which Ekeocha describes as ‘ideological neo-colonialism’.
Turning to the International Conference on Population and Development held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2019, Ekeocha described the sadness she and others felt at the Irish delegation’s enthusiasm for legalising abortion, considering the high regard they had previously held Ireland in. It was, as she politely put it, ‘very, very unfortunate’. Culture of Life Africa and other African pro-life organisations are working to show people in their own countries the realities of the western world’s abortion culture, but Ekeocha notes that with constant pressure from the west, it’s an uphill struggle.
Ekeocha says that one of the main arguments used by those attempting to introduce abortion in African countries is that it’s about maternal healthcare. This exploits the vulnerability of African healthcare systems and the realities of high maternal mortality rates, claiming that legalising abortion will solve these problems. According to Ekeocha, the available data shows that most maternal deaths in African countries are for reasons unrelated to abortion, such as insufficient blood supplies and chronic shortages of healthcare professionals:
These are the things that we need. And yet these people come from the west and they lie to the African countries and they say, ‘What you need is abortion’. Now, you introduce abortion into this mix and what happens? The activists walk away, the lobbyists walk away and the African women will continue to die… So my appeal to people in the west is always to tell Africans the truth.
Ekeocha suggests that Irish pro-lifers put pressure on the government to be more transparent about what the Irish overseas aid budget is spent on, and to lobby for it to be spent on initiatives other than abortion provision.
You can watch the full interview here. Follow Obianuju Ekeocha on Twitter @obianuju
In other news, the 2022 Rehumanize Conference took place online last Friday. As one would expect from Rehumanize, the sessions covered the whole spectrum of the Consistent Life Ethic, with presentations from anti-abortion activists, anti-war activists, anti-death penalty activists, disability rights activists and others – as well as opportunities to meet pro-lifers from all over the world. Ben was there from Minimise. Highlights for him included:
‘Impacted community members speak out against assisted suicide’ with Nicole Scheidl, Taylor Hyatt, Dr Heidi Janz and Dr Leonie Herx. This panel discussion, which dealt with Canadian assisted dying policies, was realistic, grounded and (despite the grim subject matter) very funny;
‘Black lives matter: from conception to natural death’, a roundtable discussion with Gloria Purvis, Cherilyn Holloway and Jack Champagne, which was refreshingly direct and honest, and insightful; and
‘How not to dread your next political conversation’ with Lisa Stiller and Christy Yao Pelliccioni, which was inspiring in how it demonstrated the courage of people pursuing difficult conversations at significant personal cost.
All in all, the conference was a resounding success. Hats off to Rehumanize for the hard work involved in making it so. For more details see here. Follow Rehumanize on Twitter @RehumanizeIntl