By Anayo Okoli
Umuahia – Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA), Abia State Chapter, weekend raised alarm over what it described as the â€œincreasing cases of incest, rape and defilement of women and young girlsâ€ in Abia state .
FIDA Chairperson in, Abia Mrs. Uzoamaka Uche-Ikonne, spoke in Umuahia, when some women groups championing the reproductive health and rights of Abia women addressed journalists.
FIDAâ€™s alarm came on the heels of a raging controversy on whether abortion should be legalized in the state.
Last week a group, Abia Christain Women Association (ACWA) held a rally, where they protested against any plan to legalize abortion in the state by the state House of Assembly. The group had already written to Governor Theodore Orji, urging him not to allow such law, saying that â€œAbia needs medical life-saving institutions and not legal life-destroying contraptionsâ€.
But another group, IPASS, an international Non-Governmental Organisation, said abortion legalization had become necessary in view the rising cases of incest, rape and as a means of saving the lives of women in danger, especially women whose health conditions could not accommodate pregnancy.
However, President-elect of Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Dr. Mma Ewuzie-Nwokocha, said Nigeria requires moral overhaul to be able to address the issues that lead to abortion
Controversy over legalizing abortion has been raging in the state. The controversy was prompted by a recent visit by some women groups to members of the State House of Assembly, who sought audience with the lawmakers on reproductive health and rights of women.
Leader of the delegation, Mrs Ngozi Onyioha-Orji, had explained that they did not go with any bill, but only went to educate the lawmakers to avert the Imo state experience, where a bill on Reproductive Health crashed, owing to what she described as lack of information on the part of the legislators.