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An African woman's response to "reproductive rights" debate in Parliament

15 May 2018

 
Obianuju Ekeocha speaks at a SPUC conference

Ahead of a debate being held tomorrow in Westminster Hall on "Access to reproductive rights around the world", the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has forwarded a letter from an African woman to MPs.

The open letter is being sent to all MPs from Obianuju Ekeocha, who takes issue with the premise of the debate being sponsored by Stella Creasy, Labour MP for Walthamstow, saying it confirms the reality that the UK has become a "lead neocolonial master."

The forwarding letter from SPUC says: "Obianuju Ekeocha is a Nigerian woman living and working in the UK as a specialist biomedical scientist. She is the founder of Culture of Life Africa, an organisation dedicated to defending the sanctity and dignity of human life through research, information and education. She has spoken on life and women's issues in seventeen countries, at the United Nations, in the Canadian Parliament and in the White House. She is also the author of Target Africa: Ideological Neo-Colonialism in the Twnety-First Century (2018)."

In the letter, Ms Ekeocha explains that although her country, Nigeria, is now independent of British colonial rule,"in recent years, we are noticing the footprints of the United Kingdom all over Africa as they have become one of the most enthusiastic western proponents of so-called 'reproductive rights', a concept that is seen and understood all across Africa as abortion, contraception, sterilisation and graphic (age-inappropriate) sexuality education."

She points out that about 80 per cent of the African countries have continued to resist and reject the notion that abortion should be legal, and that it is "an idea that is incompatible with our culture which teaches us that every human being carries bloodlines of clans and families that are never to be forgotten and that our lives begin right from our mothers’ womb."

We find "organizations like Marie Stopes International, International Planned Parenthood Federation and IPAS...running expensive lobbying campaigns at our parliaments to legalize abortion even against the will of the people," she continues. "And when we investigate, we find out that some of these organizations are performing illegal abortions in African countries where abortion is not legal."

Ms Ekeocha also slams the pushing of contraception by western donors, and of sex education in schools that "that does not respect African cultural values and sexual mores."

"Make no mistake, Africa’s western donors have begun a new kind of colonialism - an ideological neocolonialism," she says. "And the UK has emerged as the lead neocolonial master."

Ms Ekeocha concludes with a plea to the MPs taking part in the debate. "Please do not discuss us like we are fallow lands ready to be claimed and cultivated with pre-conceived ideas and ideologies. Please do not treat us like we are cultural vacuums to be filled with your vision of the world.

"The truth is that this debate will in fact be pushing for the UK to continue or even increase their ideological choke-hold on African countries that are slow or resistant to what the western countries are pushing as 'reproductive rights'.

"My plea to you today, as an African woman, is to stop, climb down from the high grounds of the House of Commons, go into African households, villages, small towns and cities and listen to the people that you are discussing, learn their cultures, know their values, and understand why they see the human life of every one of their babies in the womb as 'onyinyechi'- a precious gift from God."

Notes to editors:

Contact us

For further information, contact Antonia Tully, Campaign Director, SPUC on Mob: 07926 007175

or Alithea Williams SPUC's Communications Officer, on:

  • Telephone: 020 7820 3121
  • Mobile: 07792372599
  • Email: alitheawilliams@spuc.org.uk
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