|December 24, 2001
Catholic church rejects abortion law
In October this year Justice Minister Guilhermina Prata had proposed the draft law to parliament in order to curb clandestine abortions, which have caused the death of many young girls in the country. The Catholic Church has now condemned a new bill. Jose Queiroz, Archbishop of Huambo, condemned the proposed legislation by saying that the legalisation of abortion in Angola represented the state's lack of responsibility in its duties to battle poverty and support the Angolan woman, a constitutional obligation assigned to the authorities. „Abortion is not a right for a woman to decide if a human being can or cannot not live. „Women are responsible for conceiving or not," he said.
A justice ministry official said that the bill faced an uphill battle against the pressure of the Church, which is an important moral authority in Angolan society. In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI reiterated the Church's ban on abortion in a nationally televised speech during his visit to Angola. Three fifths of the country's 19 million people are Catholic.