OWERRI—Imo State governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, and Catholic Medical Practitioners Association are at daggers-drawn over the abortion bill the former just signed into law.
The law, among others, permits women to procure abortion at will.
Sponsored by the Majority Leader and member representing Ahiazu Mbaise state constituency, Mrs. Adekunle Ihuoma, the law is to be cited as “Imo State of Nigeria, Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law Number 12 of 2012”.
According to the new law, every woman shall have the right to enjoy reproductive rights, including rights to medical abortion in cases of sexual assault, rape, incest and where the continued pregnancy endangers the life or the physical, mental, psychological or emotional health of the mother.
The law also stipulates that “every woman shall have the right to take decisions about her health needs and requirements.”
The law was very specific that a woman “shall have the right to determine the processes concerning reproduction in her body.”
Okorocha also approved that every woman should have a right to health, which should be understood to mean enjoyment of the highest level of physical, mental and social well-being and healthcare services.
These provisions include everything relating to family planning.
Chairman, Catholic Medical Practitioners Association, Dr. Phillip Njemanze, has reacted angrily to the law, arguing that “the law is anti-God, dehumanizing and totally unacceptable to the association.
“The law is devastating. With its signing into law by Governor Okorocha, abortion has been legalized in the state and anybody, just anybody can now ask for abortion as a right in the state.”
While recalling that the National Assembly had earlier rejected the bill, especially as it was against humanity, Njemanze reasoned that the law would encourage human egg trafficking.