Is Rwanda on the brink of another genocide?

Rwanda--Photo credit: Neil Palmer (CIAT) on Flickr

Eighteen years ago, the bloody horror of the Rwandan genocide broke out, resulting in the slaying of over eight hundred thousand Rwandans. Rwanda still recovers from the bloodbath – but now, some want to renew the massacre.

Recently, Rwandan NGO Health Development Initiative, in cooperation with the Rwanda Association for Family Welfare (ARBEF) – an affiliate of International Planned Parenthood, interestingly enough – has launched a campaign to decriminalize abortion. Project Coordinator Chantal Umuhoza sums up the campaign’s goal:

The law on abortion has been revised but there are still a few issues that need to be sorted to create a favorable environment for young people to have access to safe abortions. Safe abortion shouldn’t only be limited to victims of rape and incest. There are so many situations that lead to unwanted pregnancies, we are calling for the possibility of safe abortion.

Dr. Eugen Rwabuneza, President of Integrated Family Care Organization, claims:

We should encourage abstinence, but if it fails, then there are preventive measures such as use of condoms and contraceptives. However, we shouldn’t watch as girls die due to unsafe abortions. Decriminalizing abortion will save lives.

Sounds nice, right? Like “Family Reproductive Health” and “Preferred Women’s Health.” Think about what Rwabuneza is saying. Basically:

If people don’t control themselves and thus give way to licentiousness, they can use a pill to solve their problems. But if the pill doesn’t work, then they can legally get a “safe” abortion. This will save the lives of the mothers.

Will decriminalizing abortion really save lives?

“Pregnant Pause” states that “even a casual look at the numbers shows that the same statistics [pro-abortion advocates] use to prove that abortion is safe today, also prove that it was just about as safe before legalization.”

Women who have had an abortion are 488% more likely to commit suicide.

In a study conducted by Dr. Amelia Laing of Howard University, women of African-American heritage who had procured at least one abortion have drastically increased risks of breast cancer. Before the age of 40, it’s a 50% increase; between 41 and 49, the risk rises to 180%. After 50, the risk has risen to 370% (Laing et al. (1993) J Natl Med Assoc 85:931-9).

Abortion can only endanger the life of a mother–it does not protect her life. Not to mention the inevitable fact that for each abortion performed, a child dies. Far from saving lives, legalized abortion in Rwanda will only encourage women to abort. “Safe sex” and “easy solutions” will result in more unexpected pregnancies and more deaths.

The 1994 genocide wiped out 20% of Rwanda’s population, devastating the country. Abortion currently claims the lives of around 25% of American children. If abortion is legalized and becomes widespread in Rwanda, the genocide will return with vindictive fury.

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