September 27, 2013

Imo repeals abortion law

The controversial abortion law enacted last year by Imo State House of Assembly, part of which prohibits violence against persons, has been repealed by the lawmakers.

The repeal was sequel to the adoption of the Ikenna Emeh-led Committee Report and subsequent passage of a fresh bill presented by the member representing Orsu State Constituency in the House, Brother Stan Dara.

The repeal of the law which was termed abortion law by critics of the legislation has put to rest weeks of agitation by religious organizations, pro-life groups and many other interest groups in the state.

Acting on the apology tendered to Imo people by Governor Rochas Okorocha, over his role in the signing of the controversial law and subsequent submission of a fresh bill for amendment of Section 40 (g), (h) and (i) of the law that appeared to have legalized abortion the House of Assembly commenced deliberation on the document on September 11, 2013.

Apparently worried by the submission made by some women organizations on what he called “the need to legalize termination of pregnancies arising from rape or incest and where the pregnancy endangers the physical, mental, psychological or emotional health of he mother”, the House set up a seven-man committee to review the entire law.

The House equally empowered the Committee to conduct a public hearing before any amendment could be made.

Sunday Vanguard recalls that two weeks later, the Committee in its report, observed that “the law did not reflect the yearnings of the people and recommended that the law be abrogated.

Upon the adoption of the report, Stan Dara presented a fresh Bill, on behalf of his co-sponsors, urging the House to repeal the law, which had caused serious embarrassment to the legislature.