African Leaders Oppose Abortion as Birth Control

Kamapla, Uganda -- October 1999 -- Legislators from eastern and southern Africa have called upon member states not to use abortion as a form of contraception.

The resolution is one of the recommendations advanced by them Wednesday at the end of a three-day regional workshop on reproductive health, held in Kampala.

"Member states must work towards the total elimination of practices that are harmful to reproductive health," the delegates said. The delegates encouraged other solutions to problems that don't include legal abortion.

The promotion of programs such as a free compulsory primary education, adult illiteracy programmes and integrating reproductive health in the school curriculum were also recommended.

Organised by the Forum of Africa and Arab Parliamentarians on population and development, in conjunction with the UN Population Fund, the workshop brought together more than 50 legislators from 19 countries.

Meanwhile, more and more women in Tananarive, capital of Madagascar, are using abortion as a method of birth control, according to a report of the Demographic Health Survey quoted this week by a local newspaper, the 'Midi-Madagascar'.

The newspaper says the survey indicated that one woman out of five - married or not - had used abortion as a method of contraception during the last year.

At least 21 percent of women in Tananarive had an abortion last year compared to 16 percent five years earlier, the paper says, adding, however, that the figures in the report may not reflect the reality.

Abortions are done in very poor conditions which put the health of the women concerned in danger, the newspaper says. Cases of botched abortions and severe medical complications from abortions are commonplace in this island nation.

Source: Panafrican News Agency, September 30, 1999
Supplied by: Pro-Life Infonet

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