Pro-life or pro-choice debate hits Namibia

26 June 2020 | Local News

Windhoek • [email protected]
Earlier this month an online petition made waves, asking to legalize abortion in Namibia. Although the group initially wanted 1 500 signatures, they have reached close to 15 000 in a matter of days.
To balance the scales, a group of pro-lifers have started their own petition to reject the legalisation of abortion and have already received close to 9 000 signatures.
The current Abortion and Sterilisation Act of SA (1975) still applies in Namibia and only provides for legal services under circumstances such as rape and health risks.
According to Pro-Life Namibia, they don’t want to allow the legalizing of abortion to look good under the system of human rights. “We will no longer keep silent, as it will be a sign of rejecting the Biblical form of life-giving through birth. Keeping silent means we give God the approval to bring the wrath upon this nation of Namibia because of our unrighteous actions.”
Pro-Life Namibia is also against Planned Parenthood abortion facilities in the country. “Let us stand together and mobilise our women to say no to legalize abortion.”
According to Pro-Choice Namibia, the purpose of the petition to legalize abortion is to express a collective plea to legalize abortion in Namibia, as well as to express the importance thereof. “For social change to take place, civil society as a collective has to show the Namibian Government what our wants and needs are so that the issue can be prioritised."
They added that Namibian women are left with no choice but to break the law to practice their right of choice, but they are also risking their lives, health, and wellbeing to obtain illegal abortions. This puts Namibian women at risk, due to the fact that about 500 women die every year because of illegal abortions, adding onto the threat against their wellbeing posed by other social issues such as gender-based violence and sexual gender-based violence in the country, which are at alarmingly high rates.
Both petitions can be found on the online petition website.