|Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013|
Many people around the world and in our own nation are mourning the loss of former South African President Nelson Mandela. Indeed there is much to admire in Mandela’s long life and public service, particularly his personal courage and his stalwart defense of human rights.
There is part of President Mandela’s legacy, however, that is not at all praiseworthy, namely his shameful promotion of abortion in South Africa. In 1996 Mandela promoted and signed into law the 'Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Bill' that, according to the New York Times, 'replaced one of the world’s toughest abortion laws with one of the most liberal.'
While we pray for the peaceful repose of President Mandela’s immortal soul and the forgiveness of his sins, we can only regret that his noble defense of human dignity did not include the youngest members of our human family, unborn children.Canada's government helped over the years in getting Mandela out of prison. In short, Canada, supported his efforts. Mandela was arrested for his stand against his country's acceptance of apartheid. For this, he spent 27 years in prison. He worked hard to resolve his countries racist policies through dialogue and peace. Eventually, South-Africa's racial-state collapsed. Mandela was a leader in defending human rights. For these accomplishments, he much deserves credit. At the memorial, Harper said this about Mandela,
We (Canada's government) knew we were doing the right thing, but on the other hand we also knew that it was a tough battle. When you just get one look at what president Mandela did in South Africa, you know it was all worthwhile. It's an over-wrought expression, but Nelson Mandela was an iconic figure who was truly a great man.However, we cannot forget that on the question of abortion even "an iconic figure" and "a great man" can be on the wrong side. Mandela's backing of the legalization of abortion in South Africa was a failure of true leadership. Morally, from a natural perspective and divine revelation, abortion is an evil. It's contradictory to battle for an end to racism and then allow the legalization of abortion that rejects the most fundamental of human rights: the right to life from conception to natural death. To intentionally kill the pre-born is contrary to divine law. No nation, be it African, Canadian or otherwise, can ever build the common good by destroying its most vulnerable and innocent members. If they can be killed for just being who they are, then anybody can be killed. All it takes is the passage of another unjust law. May God have mercy on the soul of Nelson Mandela. May God return both countries to a culture of life and love.