Human Hindrances and Social Threats to the Enforcement of Provisions of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003, Every Primary and Secondary Caregiver MUST KNOW, PREVENT & AVOID IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD: THE ABORTIONIST (1)

These ones are behind a silent evil that has claimed many innocent lives in our land. I recently read a report of a so-called birth attendant in the Eastern part of Nigeria, who specialized in abortion. The case widely reported in the dailies is just an index and a reminder of the fact that the evil of abortion in still very much with us even if we pretend otherwise.

These ones have no respect for the provisions of the law. Article 1 of the Convention on the right of the Child defines a child as, “Every human being below the age of eighteen years…”  The true interpretation of the forgoing will not be fully appreciated until it is read conjunctively with paragraph 10 of the preamble of the Convention, which provides as follows; ‘Bearing in mind that, as indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.’

The phrase, ‘the child…before as well as afterbirth’ strongly indicates that Article 1 accommodates an unborn child in its meaning of a child.  The interpretation above enjoys the support of Webster’s New Encyclopaedic Dictionary which defines a child as ‘unborn or recently born person.’

Flowing from the above interpretation of Article 1 of the Child’s Right Convention, the right of a child begins from when it is conceived in the womb.  It then follows that an unborn child has certain rights, which include the right to life as contained in Article 5 (1) & (2) of The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child as follows: ‘1. Every child has an inherent right to life.  This right shall be protected by law; 2.       State Parties to the present Charter shall ensure, to the maximum extent possible, the survival, protection and development of the child.’

Section 33(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria also protects the right of the child to life.  It is saddening that despite the iron-clad provisions of the law in favour of the unborn child, the abortionists are still adamant.

I will like to inform here that the right of the unborn child to life begins with a commitment by the expecting parents, particularly the mother to safe and sound delivery of the child.  It then follows that any deliberate action by the parents that jeopardizes the safe delivery of a child will be viewed by the law as a breach of its right to life.  This explains why sections 228, 229 and 230 of the Criminal Code of Nigeria frown at induced abortion –‘…expulsion from the womb of an embryo or a foetus”.

I will also like to bring to the attention of the abortionists that the Criminal Code recognizes three categories of offences when it comes to induced abortion:

1. Section 28 covers ‘any person who with the miscarriage of a woman… unlawfully administers’ to her drugs

2. Section 229 provides, ‘any woman who with intent to procure miscarriage…. unlawfully administers to herself drugs.’

3. Section 230 state, ‘unlawfully supplies to or procures for a person anything whatever used to procure the miscarriage of a woman.’

Personal investigation reveals that only few medical doctors and pharmacists in Nigeria are not caught in the web of the first and third categories of the offences.

It is important to note here that abortion is allowed where the life of the mother is endangered. Where is it is medically impossible to save both child and mother, the law enjoins that the life of the mother should become a priority. With this position of the law, I wholeheartedly agree.

I beg to sign out today. Tomorrow is another day. Thank you for visiting. I charge you to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

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