MASERU — The Catholic Christian Forum says it will mobilise Christians and members of the public not to vote for MPs who passed a new law that legalises abortion.
The threat is likely to ratchet up tensions between the Catholic Church, Lesotho’s largest denomination, and the government of Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.
Under Section 45 of the Penal Code Bill 2010 abortion can be allowed if a woman has conceived because of rape, incest or where her life or that of the unborn baby is in danger.
The church says the new law must be repealed as it “is against the constitution of Lesotho which prohibits any form of discrimination”.
In a letter dated March 12, 2011, addressed to Justice Minister Mpeo Mahase-Moiloa the Forum said they were not happy with the new law as it violates “the Divine law which says ‘thou shall not kill’”.
Speaking in an interview with the Sunday Express yesterday, Christopher Motsetsela, a member of the Forum, said they will mobilise church members not to vote for any politician who is bent on flouting “God’s law”.
“We will lobby the congregation and all Basotho to persuade the politicians to repeal the law as they go about their campaign.
“If they do not give their word, the people should not vote for them. They should also question those who were in the making of the law why they approved it,” Motsetsela said.
He added: “We will encourage the people not to vote for them as well.”
Motsetsela said the Forum was convinced that the new law will not benefit the people.
“The interests of the people are not protected by that law. It has been learnt that a mother who goes through an abortion suffers physically and psychologically,” he said.
“Studies show that a mother who aborts is at risk of developing some cancers and may never conceive in the future.”
Motsetsela said if they did not get a positive response from the justice minister they will take to the streets to press the government to repeal the new law.
Mahase-Moiloa said her office was still preparing a response to the letter.
She however said it is up to an individual’s conscience whether they abort or keep the baby.
“This is a simple issue. It is up to an individual to keep or not to keep the baby. Now that the disabled people say that they are being discriminated against by this law, I say let us legalise abortion,” Mahase Moiloa said.
Last year, the Christian Council of Lesotho (CCL) and the Lesotho National Federation of Organisations of the Disabled (LNFOD) also came out strongly against the law.
Speaking to the Sunday Express late last year, CCL chairperson, Reverend Khethang Posholi, said the Church was not going to allow the abortion law to take effect.
“This law is ungodly because from the beginning when the Almighty God made the first human couple and blessed them with the ability to have children, he never allowed them to kill anybody,” said Reverend Posholi in an interview then.
LNFOD also vowed to fight the law saying it was inhumane and discriminated against disabled people.
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