Anti-apartheid activist and former South African president Nelson Mandela is hailed across the globe as a champion of peace and reconciliation. And while the man who went from prisoner to president certainly deserves the plaudits for his political and civil rights accomplishments, not all of his work in office was quite as noble.
LifeNews points out the unfortunate reality of where he stood on abortion, highlighting a brief history of Mandela’s record on the issue provided by John Smeaton, director of British pro-life group SPUC.
Mr Mandela has been quoted as saying on abortion: “Women have the right to decide what they want to do with their bodies.”
In 1996, Mandela signed into law the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Bill, which permits abortion on demand. SPUC’s pro-life colleagues in South Africa tells us that the bill was introduced into the South African parliament by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Mr Mandela’s health minister.
In addition, the wording of the new South African constitution, signed by Mr Mandela in 1996, had made the legalisation of abortion on demand a mere formality. Mr Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) has a strong ideological committment to abortion, with the ANC Women’s League strongly behind the legalisation of abortion on demand.
And in the wake of Mandela’s death, NARAL was quick to highlight this “accomplishment” of his. Notice the irony in the quote they chose to feature in the first tweet.
It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of a true freedom fighter. RIP Nelson Mandela pic.twitter.com/mTsud6GVuY— NARAL Pro-Choice MA (@ProChoiceMass) December 6, 2013
Pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute said in a June 2000 report that after the passage of the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Bill, “South Africa now has one of the most liberal abortion laws in the world.”