Abortion and the Moral Oligarchs

03 April 2017 | Opinion

Governing over a society generally commands leaders to take both pre-emptive steps, as well as steps that deal with citizen needs that respond to the immediate calls for socio-economic and political balance within the society.

Last week a damning report was released by the Minister of Health that painted a bleak picture of rampant, dangerous and unavoidable backdoor abortions. The debate around whether abortion should be legalised or not, should not be dependent on a blanket morality meant to censor or shut concerned members up that advocate for the legalisation of abortion. Citizen needs and statistics, such as those released in local media last week need to be considered when arguing for or against the legalisation of what women can or cannot do with their bodies.

Yet, for some, a larger moral debate hangs in the air, one that asks if you, my neighbour are able to live in a society where others are able to do with their bodies as they please, without one imposing morals or values that in fact have nothing to do with someone else’s idea of morality, but rather, and selfishly so, are fundamentally centred around our own idea of morality.

With every passing public debate, it seems clearer that some parts of Namibia’s constitution alongside its status as a secular state are applicable or void at the whim or the cultural-oligarchs of both pre and post-independence Namibia. Although most Namibians are aware of this, many of us still wonder who these oligarchs are. Women have little say in the debate regarding abortion, seeing that it is their bodies in question here, and it seems like this theme of ‘elimination by minority status’ is applied to many other groups in our society.

The Namibian government will have to learn the hard way one day that at some point it will have to respond to the needs of its’ citizens either before the people take back the power they trusted their elected leaders with by electing different ones, or toppling the current government entirely. Only history can judge us now.

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