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An overview of the American Freedom of hoice Act and Globalization of Abortion

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The freedom of choice Act is the most radical abortion law proposed in Human history with respect to reproductive justice which gives a woman unfettered freedom to abort a child she is carrying without criminal culpability or determine a pregnancy without spousal consent, parental notification or consultation. The Freedom of Choice Act Indeed facilitates partial Birth abortion and puts the woman in position to exercise a reckless disdain for human life to facilitate the pursuit of her personal happiness and wellness.

FOCA” declares that it is the policy of the United States that every woman has the fundamental right to choose to bear a child; terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability terminate a pregnancy after viability when necessary to protect her life or her health.”

It prohibits a federal, state, or local governmental entity from denying or interfering with a woman’s right to exercise such choices; or discriminating against the exercise of those rights in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.

It also authorizes an individual aggrieved by a violation of this Act to obtain appropriate relief, including relief against a governmental entity, in a civil action.

The Bill was sponsored by Jerrold Nadler of the US House of representatives and co sponsored by James greenwood. During the period he was a United States senator, President Barrack Obama co-sponsored the 2007 Senate version of the Freedom of Choice Act. Responding to a question regarding how he would preserve reproductive rights in a speech given to the Action Fund  of the Planned Parenthood on July 17, 2007, Obama declared, “The first thing I’d do, as president, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing that I’d do.”

In a press conference on April 29, 2009, President Obama said that although he supports a woman’s right to choose, passage of the Freedom of Choice Act was “not highest legislative priority.”

The United States conference of Catholic Bishop describes FOCA as an attempt to codify the 1973 decision in ROE V WADE and promote abortion in the United States. This posture reflects the attitudinal approach of the Pro life groups which has condemned the Bill and led wild protests against its signing with petitions addressed to the 111th congress, titled FIGHT FOCA. This movement has many sympathizers who are committed against the principles of abortion

Those opposed to FOCA assert that the bill would force taxpayers to subsidize abortion and would jeopardize existing laws prohibiting abortions in public hospitals and barring non-physicians from performing abortions. Others estimate that the passage of FOCA would result in approximately 125,000 more abortions being performed annually in the United States.

Those who hold human life to such little value have drawn the battle line and extended their global tentacles to spread the evils of abortion in third world countries where poverty, political instability, corruption meant the absence of accountable leadership by their involvement in the reproductive health challenges of their target State in disguise as Aid.

The importance of reproductive health cannot be overemphasized in the backdrop of the high level of infant and maternal mortality in Nigeria with its slowly improving but unimpressive health care delivery system.

Nigeria is increasingly a country of abundant lives and speedy death. Much of the death with respect to infants occur often times during child delivery and caused by the poor health care system that promotes maternal and infant deaths.

It is in this regard that the federal and State governments are spending huge sums of money in reproductive health care delivery and initiating new policy guidelines that will reposition the system to make it more effective and well managed. But the funding so far are inadequate .This is where the danger lies in view of the multiplicative interferences by International organizations and western Aid Agencies that have fashioned new models of demanding the prevalence of contraceptives in the country as a condition for Aid. These western Aid agencies have come out with the flawed logic that the inadequate uses of contraceptives and abortive tools of family planning are the major causes of Infant and maternal deaths in Nigeria. Without hesitation, this is FOCA in emerging disguise.

According to the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Mohammed Ali Pate in a London Summit on family planning, Nigeria was committed to achieving the target of a 36% prevalence rate of the use of contraceptives by 2018 whilst spending N5.41Billion on the import of reproductive health products. In addition to the yearly commitment of N486M.The reference to reproductive health products is a polite word for abortive tools.

A more disturbing revelation from the Minster is that part of the gains of the subsidy reinvestment will be used to facilitate reproductive health products, which by extension means abortion. The theme of this project facilitated by The American Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is to facilitate access by women from poor countries to contraception

More than 20 countries agreed to make commitments to address the problem of finance and delivery Barriers to women accessing contraceptive information, service, and supplies of reproductive health products. The summit plans to ensure that at least 120 million women and girls use contraceptives by 2020 in other to prevent maternal deaths arising from childbirth. The clear intentions of these bodies are to ensure the reduction of the Population of the so called poor countries of the world in the backdrop of the declining and aging population of the industrialized world.

The question is, whether we need population control through the uses of contraceptives prevalence and abortion? Whether in view of the decimation of our population by malaria, HIV, Maternal deaths, poor urban sanitation, cholera, diabetes, High Blood pressure, Famine ,war, ethnic strives and Poverty , it is advisable to engage commitment in the prevalence of contraceptives and reproductive health products which  includes access to  abortion.

The National Assembly in designing any Abortion Bill or looking the other way as the Lives of unborn infants are traded for Aid is handing the nation to the destructive forces of evil and we shall live in cursed silence of the laughter, smiles, and cries of the little ones lost in the chasm of fetal viability. Elsewhere in India, there are incentives offered to the poor for induced sterilization using cash gifts, chattels and cars as incentives.

However studies have revealed that 3000 fetuses are aborted monthly in India once they are determined to be female. The so called Modern Woman may think that abortion serves her waggish libertarianism but in actual fact facilitates her sexist disposability .From the first bite of the Apple in Eden to fetal viability at Washington, why is it that we have to always blame our women for the reoccurring decimal of evil in Man’s History in a Male dominated World? Abortion has become globalised and there is the need to organize better resistance against these forces of evil. If not Now, then Never.

In Imo state, the state house of Assembly enacted the IMO STATE OF NIGERIA LAW NO 12 OF 2012 in very suspicious circumstances to promote abortion tools in Imo state which received public condemnation leading to the abrogation of the infamous law .This is in fact one of the examples of international pressures mounted by donor agencies and specifically, the European Union and Bill Gates foundation which provides conditional aids for countries too weak or corrupt to resist the lure.

Doctors were to be facilitated under the emerging reproductive health policy with incentives to set up pro abortion clinics channeled by a 2nd generation bank in the state as a condition for international grants to facilitate the health care delivery system of the state.

Thus, there is the need for another abortion law in Imo state to check the activities of criminally procured abortions, abrogate all pro abortion laws, promote and protect the right to life of the unborn child from the moment of conception to birth and bar medical doctors who procure abortions for life from the practice of medicine with some time spent in jail.

The State is indeed grateful to the Governor for rescuing the lives of unborn children from the hell bent terminators by ensuring the abrogation of the law.

It is however, noteworthy that in spite of the abrogation of the law, over 4, 000 abortions are performed each year in Imo state and the time has come to flush out the heathen passion from the state by a new law protecting the life of the unborn child.

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The Data of Forgiveness

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The Universal Character of Salvation

The most important ingredient in today’s media economy is data. The amount of data available determines how much and how long we can work or play on the internet. Currently, many of the service providers offer unlimited data plans but we know that those “unlimited” plans are not always unlimited. Sometimes, your download speed can get slowed down when you cross a certain point. Today, however, Jesus gives us the divine model of an unlimited plan. It is the unlimited bundle of compassion and forgiveness which never gets slowed downed shut down for maintenance. The theme for this week is that we must learn to forgive without limits no matter the injury committed against us.

In Matthew’s Gospel, today’s teaching on unlimited forgiveness comes after Jesus had told his disciples the parable of the wandering sheep, so it is plausible that some would have wondered among themselves how many times a good shepherd should go after the same sheep if it keeps wandering away. In those days, people believed that forgiveness was limited to three times only – a fourth transgression was not to be forgiven. So, by asking Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother, Peter was probably aiming to increase the limit to seven times. And Jesus makes it clear that we are to forgive others, “not seven times but seventy-seven times” (Matt. 18:22).That means we must dispense an unlimited data bundle of mercy.

In Jesus Christ, we have the forgiveness of a debt we could never pay. Sin is an offence against God and a direct rebellion against his authority and creation. The debt of 10,000 talents mentioned in today’s parable symbolizes the magnitude of the offence that sin causes in God’s eyes, but he is always willing to forgive without limits. However, we can easily cut ourselves off from God’s river of mercy when we refuse to forgive others. We end up restraining God’s mercy and putting ourselves under strict justice. To unfold his mercy without compromising his justice, God leaves each person free to choose between the two. If we insist on strict justice when we are offended, we bring God’s strict justice upon ourselves. But if we offer an unlimited bundle of mercy to others, we draw God’s unlimited data of forgiveness upon ourselves.

The secret to forming a forgiving heart lies in recognizing the evil of our sin and the immensity of God’s goodness in forgiving us. Until we see the ugliness of our ingratitude and selfishness, we will never appreciate the generosity of God’s forgiveness. Let us examine ourselves now to see how much forgiveness we are giving. Is there someone we still cannot forgive even after they have expressed sorrow for their actions? Have we judged someone too harshly because of something they said or did that we did not particularly like? How many times have we failed to help somebody because we are still dwelling on an injury that we suffered many years ago? How many times have we treated someone differently based on preconceived notions or stereotypes? These are some of the factors that shackle us like chains and that disrupt the unlimited data of divine grace in our lives. When we close ourselves off to people or dismiss them based on our preconceptions, mistaken judgments, and prejudices, not only do we make them suffer, we suffer as well.

But it does not have to be that way. Jesus came to free us from and the burden of sin and unhappiness. Forgiveness is like mercury, which runs away when it is held tightly in the hand but is preserved by keeping the palm open. When we lose forgiveness, we lose the ability to give and to receive love because love is the foundation of forgiveness. And since God is the foundation of love, whoever refuses to forgive automatically rejects the love of God. This is the essence of today’s parable and it is highlighted by the contrast between what was owed by each man. The wicked slave owed his master some 10000 talents. In gold terms, that is 350 tons and at today’s price, he owed his master USD21.8 billion. This was way more than King Solomon made in a year which was 666 talents of gold or USD1.45 billion in today’s value (cf. I Kings 10:14). So, this unforgiving servant owed his master what no individual could never payback. In contrast, his fellow servant owed him the equivalent of one talent of gold or USD2.1 million; so a man who was forgiven $21.8b could not let go of $2.1m, and his wickedness landed him in the hands of torturers.

Dear friends, forgiveness is an act of compassion which is expressed in the free choice to pardon one another’s shortcomings every day, and to also pardon ourselves for own mistakes Forgiveness transcends the fear of being wounded again; it is a deliberate act in imitation of the redemptive work of Jesus, the advocacy of the Holy Spirit, and the loving kindness of the Father. The whole point of today’s parable is that our Father in heaven will do the same to anyone who refuses to forgive others. Whoever refuses to forgive is doomed to a life of bitterness, and as the ugly trend continues, the person ends up building invisible walls of resentment around themselves, thereby blocking off not just one’s relationships with other people but with God as well. Forgiveness is not just an emotional expression or a sense of righteousness; it means being merciful not only when there is an explanation or apology, or a promise of amendment from the offender, but even when the offence is deliberate, and the offender is adamant. Forgiveness is a precious gift of grace, which does not depend on the worthiness of the receiver. Forgiveness is what we called to do, and the Lord’s grace is sufficient for us in that regard. Amen.

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Imo Deputy Governor’s giant strides towards revitalizing agriculture

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Imo Deputy Governor's giant strides towards revitalizing agriculture
By Joy Opara

The increasing cost of Agricultural products in Imo State in recent times has continued to be a major source of concern to the citizens of the state.

A critical appraisal of the development of Agriculture in this state reveals that successive governments had neglected this major sector of the economy, over three decades now, and this has adversely affected the revenue of government.

In line with the vision of the “shared prosperity” government of the Hope Uzodinma administration, the revolution of agriculture is among its cardinal programmes for which a high powered committee (on agricultural master plan for Imo State) has been set up.
For the purpose of resuscitating all moribund agricultural industries and facilities in the state, it is not surprising that this committee is headed by a world class Professor of Agriculture and Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prof. Placid Njoku.

The need to diversify the economy cannot be over-emphasized. It is a well known fact that there is no better and more sustainable means of diversifying the economy than through agriculture. It would be recalled that after the inauguration of his committee, the deputy governor went into action, first by visiting all moribund agricultural facilities in the state, which included Adapalm in Ohaji/ Egbema LGA, Avutu Poultry farm in Avutu, Obowo LGA, Songhai farms, Okigwe road, Owerri, ADP farms in Nekede, Owerri West. Others are Acharaubo farms in Emekuku, Owerri North, Imo Rubber Plantation in Obiti, Ohaji/ Egbema, amongst others.
Prof. Njoku in one of his speeches during the tour described agriculture as the economic base of most countries of the world. Considering the dwindling oil revenue, he said it should be a source of worry to people of good conscience that the vision of our founding fathers to generate revenue, food security, economic advancement, industrialization, employment and eradication of poverty was destroyed by successive governments.
The Deputy Governor, who not only is acknowledged as one of the greatest professors of Animal Science, a renowned Agriculturist and former Vice Chancellor of a leading University of Agriculture, the Federal University of Agriculture, Umudike, made it clear that the present government led by Governor Hope Uzodinma is desirous to return agriculture to its former glory.

The Ikeduru-born technocrat and farmer per-excellence said that the 3R Mantra of this administration namely: Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Recovery is a base for making the dream of Imo State as the food basket of the nation come true.

Noting that government is a continuum, the deputy governor promised that his committee will build upon what is already on ground by rehabilitating the ones that could be rehabilitated and bringing in new facilities where necessary to ensure that the passion of the governor towards agricultural revival is achieved.

Meanwhile, in most of the establishments visited by the committee, it was discovered that indigenes of the communities had badly encroached into the lands and converted them to personal use. Investigations by the committee revealed that agents of some past governments in the state connived with the communities to make it possible, for their personal aggrandizement.

The deputy governor, whose humility has become legendary pledged his total support to the Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma whom he described as God sent to right all that were done wrong by the previous administrations in the state. He called on all to give this administration the needed support to rewrite the history of Imo State in gold, especially the agricultural sector.

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Child Abuse: A case of betrayal of reciprocal trust

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Child Abuse: A case of betrayal of reciprocal trust
By Christian Uzoukwu

Some years ago, while as a kid, I fell out with my father due to an occasion of sheer disobedience and on that very day, I was given no food and was ultimately battered by hunger. Child abuse includes both acts of commission and omission on the part of parents, guardians as well as care-givers.

These acts have led to a lot of actual and threatened harm meted out on countless number of children. In 2014, the WHO made an estimate of 41,000 children (under the age of 15) that are victims of homicide and other related offences. This estimate, as expounded by this world body is grossly below the real figures due to the views of the society in relation to corporal punishment experienced by children. Girls are always most vulnerable to different forms of child abuse during unrests and in war-thorn territories.

Cases of child abuse can be established in some deadly human vices such as child trafficking, child labour, forced adoption as seen in the one-child policy prevalent in China. In the Asian country, women, by law are only allowed to have one child. Local governments would sometimes allow the woman to give birth and then they would take the baby away stating the mother violated the one child policy. Child traffickers, often paid by the government, would sell the children to orphanages that would arrange international adoptions worth tens of thousands of dollars, turning a profit for the government.

Other striking examples of child abuse are the various forms of violence against the girl-child which involves infanticide, sex-selective abortions, female genital mutilations (FGM), sexual initiation of virgins in some African cultures, breast ironing in some parts of Cameroon – involving the vicious use of hot stones and other tools to flatten the breast tissue of girls who have attained the age of puberty. As if those were not enough, female students are also subject to maltreatments in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is not to talk of recurring kidnapp of female students in some parts of Nigeria, as we saw in the case of Dapchi and Chibok schoolgirls.

Based on simple analysis, child abuse can be defined as “all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power”.

This definition by WHO also falls in line with the definition propounded by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, which says that child abuse are acts of commission. This commission includes “words or overt actions that cause harm, potential harm, or threat of harm to a child”, and acts of omission (neglect), meaning “the failure to provide for a child’s basic physical, emotional, or educational needs or to protect a child from harm or potential harm.

In Nigeria, most cases of child abuse have become cumbersome due to the fact that these acts of abuses are regarded as mere punishments to unruly young ones and by so doing, should be justified and doesn’t call for any further discussion and/or scrutiny. According to various statistical studies and researches, child abuse is a vast societal cankerworm and has four profound tentacles viz:

Physical Abuse: this involves undue hitting, beating, kicking, shaking, biting, burning, strangling, insertion of pepper into the eyes and pubic regions of children, maltreatments from house-help(s) and seniors at boarding/day schools, suffocating and forcing children to live in unwholesome conditions.

Sexual Abuse also includes persuading a minor into acts of sexual intercourse, exposure of the child’s private parts, production of child-related pornographic contents and actual sexual contacts with children.

Psychological Abuse of children can be seen in cases of excessive scolding, lack of proper attention that children should be receiving from their parents and guardians, destructive criticisms and destruction of a child’s personality.

Neglect of children can also lead to children dropping out of schools, begging/stealing for food and money, lack of proper medical care for minors and realities of children looking like ragamuffins.

Consequently, the causes of child abuse can be judiciously related to sex, age, personal history, societal norms, economic challenges, lack of Rights’ Protection Agencies, parents battling with traits of alcoholism and family size. These causative agents of child abuse can bring untold effects upon the society at large and these effects can be emotional, physical and psychological as the case may be, giving rise to individuals with dissociative lifestyles.

Furthermore, the treatment of individuals who have been malformed with respect to the abuses they experienced abinitio, can be a long process because it involves behavioral therapy and other forms of neoteric therapies. Treatments of psyche-related problems are not just a one-day process due to the long-lasting effects of abuses on various conscious mental activities. It is also noteworthy to point out that, prevention is always better than cure and holding fast to this true reality, entails that agencies who have the responsibility of protecting the rights of children must continue to do the needful which requires proper oversights of parent-child relationships.

To conclude this piece therefore, we must agree that untold hardships have been a great challenge for children especially in Africa and some parts of Asia. Children with long histories of abuses turn out to become societal misfits. To this end we encourage that: Children should be given a free platform to express themselves on many topical issues and issues relating to their existence.

Children should also be allowed to freely ask questions on any issue, no matter, how weird it seems to be.

Governments should make regulations outlawing societal norms and values that might amount to child abuses.

Corporal punishments by parents, guardians and care-givers should be discouraged at all levels, thereby making parents/guardians/care-givers who seem to be incorrigible, to face the full weight of justice enshrined in the law of the land.

Education system (both conventional and unconventional) in Nigeria should be able to train up young ones into becoming critical, analytical and evaluative individuals with a view of defending the vulnerable.

And again, since children are said to be leaders of tomorrow, it is pertinent to note that to secure their future, their present existence must be cherished and protected.

Christian Chimemerem Uzoukwu
08100029867 / 09025760804
Admin Critical Thinkers’ Forum.

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