The following was released today, August 11, 2011.
A study released this week by Human Rights Watch, entitled "Stop Making Excuses: Accountability for Maternal Health Care in South Africa," highlights nearly the same facts that a MCCL Global Outreach white paper ("How South Africa is failing women and children") stated back in January.
Human Rights Watch is confirming what we have long known: Good quality health care, and not abortion, is what will decrease maternal mortality rates for the populace. The Human Rights Watch 66-page report details situations in which pregnant women were actually abused by the very medical staff from which they sought help.
While the study does make reference on page 56 to a "Right to Life," the citation is made for the life of the woman and notes that this right is to be interpreted in a "restrictive" manner. The right to life of the unborn child is not mentioned in the report.
"When government officials and health care advocates spend their days pushing abortion on women, you are going to get more abortions," said MCCL GO Executive Director Scott Fischbach. "If they change focus and push quality health care, women and babies can live. It's pretty simple."
Abortion was made legal in South Africa with the implementation of the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1996. In the year prior to the legalization of abortion, 1,600 abortions were performed in the country. Since the law was changed, reported abortions have increased to more than 80,000 per year, according to the most recent statistics from the South African Office for National Statistics.
MCCL GO has called for a renewed emphasis on improving health care for women as the only sure means of reducing maternal mortality. Better medical care, including antibiotics, sterile gloves and equipment, improved obstetric and prenatal care, access to doctors and hospitals, availability of birth attendants and better communications, is the answer to problem of maternal mortality.
"Legal abortion only leads to more abortions, and, as a result, more abortion-related complications for women," Fischbach said.
MCCL GO is a pro-life global outreach program of the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Education Fund with one goal: to save as many innocent lives as possible from the destruction of abortion. Learn more at www.mccl-go.org.