By: Aminata S. Kromah
Monrovia: The Coalition for Democratic Change Secretary General Jefferson Tamba Koijee, has vowed that the CDC will continue to resist the legalization of abortion in Liberia.
Mayor Koijee made a statement on Tuesday, September 12, 2023 during a Press Conference held at the Headquarters.
Koijee noted that the Bill to Legalize abortion is counterproductive to population growth, as such, CDC will vehemently resist its passage.
“We don’t support abortion. We believe in the fate of reproduction”. We want you to be aware, as a party, we are convinced and we stand against any act to legalize abortion.”
He however warned the Liberian Senate to desist from any discussion and or decision that would cause population decrease ; thus they should trash the bill.
“We don’t want our population to be reduced, we want our population to increase” stating that the growth of a population within a Country or state plays a pivotal role and has a great impact on the Country.
Meanwhile, Koijee maintained that the administration of the Coalition for Democratic Change remains grateful to its International Partners for their continuous support to their Government, but with legalizing abortion, CDC will not support them in any form and manner.
Like most African countries, Liberia has firm restrictions on abortion. It is illegal for a health worker to execute an abortion except, in cases of rape, incest, fetal abnormality or risk to the woman’s physical or mental health. Two physicians must certify medical exceptions and evidence of rape and incest must be provided to the health minister, a county attorney or police. Illegal abortion is punishable with up to five years in prison.
Advocates of the Abortion Law maintains that the current only supports safe abortion for wealthy women, thus leaving the poor with only dangerous options, hence the need for legalization.
The 54th National Legislature of the Republic of Liberia on Tuesday, August 22, 2023, kick-started a special Session, and from the end of the Liberian Senate, President Pro-Tempore, Albert T. Chie, named several items that would have been considered, including the continuation of deliberations on the amended Public Health Law, which includes the amended abortion law, for concurrence.
The new public health law, which is currently being debated in a special session by the Senate, is facing a barrage of opposition from abortion opponents. A provision in the bill which contains a range of other public health elements, would make abortion legal up to 18 weeks of pregnancy as long as it is done by a doctor. The original version of the bill made it 24 weeks, but lawmakers revised it to 18 weeks.
Within the Liberian settings, Muslims and Christians view abortion as a sin and an abomination but globally it is referenced as Reproductive Health and Rights for women.