Saturday, 9 May 2015

What Nigerians Want the Over 200 Rescued Impregnated Chibok Girls to Do

boko haram babies 
Recent military onslaught against Boko Haram’s hide-out in Sambisa Forest led to the rescue of hundreds of women and children. Among them were over 200 young girls who are now found to have been impregnated by members of the sect. Given the circumstances of these pregnancies, how should they be treated? Should they be aborted, or be left to term? At once, we admit that this is one sensitive, if morally and spiritually complicated issue. However, these are what eminent Nigerians say:

This is a moral question. Matters of this nature will be guided by religion and faith.
A lot of victims are Christians and they may not be disposed to abortion. Each of the victims should be allowed to determine what she wants to do with the pregnancy. This is a matter the victims should be left to handle the way each of them deems fit. However, they should be given proper counselling, advise and guidance as they are preparing to adjust to normal lives.
PROFESSOR ISHAQ AKINTOLA Executive Director, Muslim Rights Concern/lecturer, LASU
The girls are in a delicate and precarious situation, and I believe that the earlier a decision is taken the better. Boko Haram sect members that impregnated them did so under duress. In Islam, abortion is not allowed except when the health of a pregnant woman is threatened or in danger. Therapeutic abortion is allowed in Islam. But the case of these girls is an abnormal one. I don’t want to make comment more than that.
REV. BOLANLE GBONIGI Retired Anglican Bishop of Akure
Abortion is against the will of God. Christianity and Bible forbid it. It means killing. We should not kill the babies in their wombs; we should leave those pregnancies. The girls should be taken care of very well until they deliver their babies safely. After delivery, the government should take care of both babies and their mothers. For the fact that the girls were impregnated by evil men doesn’t mean that the babies in the wombs of those girls will be evil people. Federal Government should take good care of these girls. They should deliver safely and they also be helped to take care of the babies through good feeding, clothing and medicare.
REMI ADIUKWU Politician/PDP chieftain
It is a very dicey issue. As a mother, I don’t want to encourage abortion, but considering the circumstances under which they got pregnant makes the issue a difficult one. The girls need proper counselling as to what they want regarding the pregnancies. Their opinion matters in this case, my prayer is that God will guide them to take the best decision.
President, CAN, South West
The Bible teaches us thou shall not kill. Since they are already pregnant, that mean they have babies inside them, if you abort that pregnancy, you have committed murder.
We should leave the girls with their pregnancies, and let them deliver safely. Abortion should be out of it. Those unborn babies inside those girls have not committed any offence, we should let them live. Rather, it is the Federal Government that is responsible for the situation that allow those girls to find themselves in the present circumstances. If government had moved decisively against Boko Haram at the right time, the present situation would have been averted.
Medical doctor/director
Thank God the law of Nigeria doesn’t permit abortion, except in cases of rape and incest. Even at that, we must realise the fact that when pregnancies are more than three months old, the challenges of aborting it are there. These girls are forced against their will to succumb to sexual intercourse with these Boko Haram sect members. However, the first thing we should do for these girls is to give them good medication and counselling. The final decision as to whether they should keep the pregnancies or terminate them should be left to them and parents.
Ifa priest/Araba of Osogboland
They should allow the girls to deliver the babies. What happened is not their fault. It is an abnormal circumstance. There is no spiritual or side effect in having children born under such circumstances in the society.
Executive Director, Project Alert on violence against women
It is their personal decision. Since every decision has its consequences, they have to do what is right to them. What they need from us is support for whatever decision they take. They include rehabilitation, psycho-social support, medical and financial support.
Retired Army officer
I think the question should be directed to medical doctors and psychologists. But as a Christian, I don’t support abortion. But the Federal Government should take over the care of these girls with their pregnancies. This should be part of the government’s rehabilitation programme. There should be no abortion except these pregnancies endanger the lives of the mothers. When children are eventually delivered, they should become government’s children.
Former President, Trade Union Congress
Although the circumstances of those girls being impregnated are unfortunate, the pregnancies should not be terminated. Let these girls deliver the babies, but immediately they deliver, they should take the babies away from them and the babies should be taken care of by the parents or government, while the girls should continue with their education. or government, while the girls should continue with their
General Overseer, Holiness Ministry
The Bible preaches holiness, and without holiness, no one will receive divine grace from God. The Holy Bible forbids taking of life. It amounts to grievous sin before God to take another person’s life. Those unborn babies in the womb of those girls are living beings, why should anybody tamper or think of taking their lives? What happened to the girls is not of their own making. We should pray for them, pray for their safe delivery and thereafter each family can decide what they want to do with the babies; either for the parents to help them raise the children, or give the children to government for adoption. My prayer is that when the time comes, God will give those concerned the wisdom to do the right thing.
Former Deputy Governor, Oyo State
I think the best thing for them to do for the girls is to abort the pregnancies. What they are carrying is what can be referred to as unwanted pregnancies, even because of the future of the girls and the society’s stigma. Even traditionally, morally, and culturally, those pregnancies are unwanted ones, they should look for specialists to remove them. Those pregnancies should be removed because we don’t want to see another Boko Haram emerging in Nigeria again.
Past President, Trade Union Congress
That decision should be left for the families of the affected girls to take. As the saying goes, it is he who wears the shoes that knows where it pinches. We can only pray for these girls and their families for God to give them the grace and wisdom to take the right decision. Those families are going through agonizing period, we can only pray that God will strengthen them to weather the storm.
Former National Secretary of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria
They shouldn’t abort the pregnancies, because in the first place it is sinful to contemplate or do that, and it may lead to death. The pregnancies don’t mean that it is the end of their lives. When they give birth, they continue with their normal lives, the most important thing is the freedom they now have. Against the fear of what the children may turn out to be, let me say that it is the environment that forms the character trait of any person. They may turn out to be great men and women. Our environment shapes our lives, according to sociologists. So, if a crazy man impregnates a woman, it doesn’t mean the woman would give birth to another crazy man. It is still the environment that will shape the behaviour and character of such person.
President, Women Arise for Change Initiative
It is alarming and very unfortunate that we could have that number of women and young girls held captive for such a period of time and turned to sex slaves without any tangible rescue effort until now. On the detection of pregnancy, I will want to say that abortion is a dangerous practice and should not be contemplated for now. The most urgent thing is the health situation of these women which has to be ascertained as soon as possible vis-a-vis, their HIV status and other health challenges that their hostage would have exposed them to.
General Overseer, Divine Appointment Ministry, Ilupeju, Lagos
Abortion is another error which, to me, is another way of killing the innocent.
The government should rehabilitate them, and if possible take the children from the girls for proper adoption by those who can take good care of them, while the girls return to school. Remember, Moses in the Bible was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter.
Founder, Media Concern Initiative for Women and Children (MEDIACON)
I am a pro-life advocate. Terrible as the scenario is, the children to be born have committed no crime. From reports, the rescued girls are more than the Chibok girls. Women and other girls were rescued at different stages of pregnancy. If someone is eight months gone, do you prescribe abortion? Although their pregnancy stages have not been made public, the responsibility of deciding for abortion lies with the women and parents of the teenagers. Also, it should be considered that abortion is illegal in Nigeria except for risk to mother’s life. So, when we say, with assumption, that it was possible for some, we are just being emotional and criminal, according to our laws.
Director of Social Communication Catholic Archdiocese
There is no room for abortion. It is clearly stated in the Holy Bible that “thou shall not kill.” So, anyone who talks of abortion should find out the stage of the pregnancies, are they at the early stage or late stage? Much can be done so that by the time the babies come out with much education and good environment, they could be great people.
Chief Missioner of Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria
I’m pro-life. This is most challenging and it is unfortunate that it has happened before our very eyes. It calls to question our humanity. It goes to prove that this group of people should not be associated with, they are callous and inhuman, they are not religious people. Every religion including African traditional religion abhors sex as an instrument of oppression. Everything should be done to keep the pregnancies in dignity. The society shouldn’t stigmatise the girls or the products.
Human rights lawyer
Although morally, it is wrong to commit abortion, in the present circumstance, it will be against public interest to retain these pregnancies. The sexual connections that led to these pregnancies were fraudulently obtained as there were lacking in consent. In law whatever is fraudulently obtained will collapse. The pregnancies are not only unwanted, but they are also morally appalling. If their parents and the health of these girls permit, abortion should be carried out in the interest of the public and the government should foot the bill because it was their action and inaction that led to these problems.
Director of Information & Public Affairs, The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria.
It is unfortunate that the devil operated through Boko Haram and these girls became pregnant. It is an evil act, and we cannot commit another evil act on top of that. Two wrongs cannot make a right. Abortion is against the word of God and also against the law of the land. The pregnancies should not be aborted. The children are God’s children who may be used of God to change the world



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