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US Congressman Chris Smith urges new Liberian legislators to urgently remove abortion section in Public Health Bill

Leading human rights campaigner and prominent US politician, Congressman Chris Smith, has called on the new Liberian Government and senators to remove the abortion section in the Public Health Bill.

The Public Health Bill, which includes the extreme abortion section, is currently under consideration by the Liberian Senate.

The statement released by Congressman Chris Smith adds to the mounting pressure the Liberian Government is facing to remove the section of the Public Health Bill that is estimated will lead to 40,000 babies being aborted in Liberia each year.

A number of senators have received a flood of correspondence from members of the public who are deeply concerned by the proposed radical change to abortion legislation in Liberia.

Congressman Chris Smith is a prominent US politician who is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission a significant bipartisan body of the United States House of Representatives. 

Smith is known worldwide for his human rights campaigning, including being the author of several global humanitarian and human rights laws including the historic Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. He has also chaired over 600 congressional hearings on human rights issues.

Under Liberia’s current law, abortion is allowed in exceptional circumstances – where the mother’s life is at risk, rape/incest/felonious intercourse, and disability of the fetus. These are rare situations.

The abortion section in the Public Health Bill would repeal Liberia’s current abortion law and replace it with a law that allows abortion, for any reason, on demand, up to when the baby in the womb reaches 14 weeks gestation.

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It has been estimated that this change from allowing abortion in exceptional circumstances to allowing abortion on demand would lead to the lives of 40,000 babies being lost to abortion in Liberia every single year. This is a conservative estimate, the actual number could be much higher.

Based on this estimate, if this law change is made, it will lead to up to 400,000 innocent lives being lost to abortion over the next ten years in Liberia. Senators can avoid this mass loss of life now by removing this extreme abortion section from the Public Health Bill.

Most African countries prohibit abortion except in extreme circumstances, such as the life of the mother, rape/incest, and fetal disability. Most countries in the world likewise prohibit abortion except in extreme circumstances. Only a minority of countries allow abortion on demand.

Members of the public throughout Liberia are being encouraged to visit www.StopAbortionLiberia.com to ask their senators to ensure that the extreme abortion section be removed from the Bill.

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