By Fr. Peter Vecellio, O.C.D.
There is a misconception that there is no need for a pro-life movement in places like Uganda where abortion is illegal. Yet, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, there is a bill in the Ugandan Parliament to legalize abortion. As of now, illegal abortions are happening throughout the country and every kind of birth control is widely available. Aren’t all three of these things precursors to legalizing abortion? Legalization is just the end result of a culture that has gradually lost its moral compass. Thus, the root causes for such societal immorality have to be addressed also. Purity, chastity, irresponsible drinking, and sexual relations outside marriage are always relevant topics for pro-lifers to address when not only trying to prevent legalized abortion, but also eliminating abortion where it is already legal.
I have become acquainted here in Jinja with a dedicated pro-lifer named Stephen Wabomba who is trying to re-launch a women’s pregnancy center that he founded six years ago. In his former location, which he lost due to lack of funds, he served both women considering an illegal abortion and those seeking contraceptives. Currently, Stephen is dedicated to speaking to parish groups and couples along with one of our Carmelite brothers about Natural Family Planning. As I’ve also mentioned before, Natural Family Planning is not widely known here in Uganda. Many women believe that birth control is the only option for family planning. So obviously, people like Stephen are doing the foundational pro-life work that prevents abortion, whether legal or illegal. I believe that it’s just as important to dedicate our pro-life work to this kind of education as it is to ending legalized abortion. And furthermore, we will end legalized abortion much sooner by changing the culture through education and virtue than by simply changing the law. The law is a reflection of the values of a society.
In his efforts to re-launch a women’s center, Stephen is looking for funds to found a new location and provide mamma's kits, food supplements, diapers, maternity and baby clothes, shoes, and mosquito nets for women clients--along with a TV, DVD player, projector, and pro-life books for the Center. If you would like to contribute, you can contact Stephen at email@example.com; mention my name to let him know how you learned about his project. God Bless your generosity!