Health

Group Urges NASS to Incorporate Unborn Babies in VAPP Bill

The Foundation for African Cultural Heritage (FACH), a civil society group, has urged the Na­tional Assembly to include un­born babies in the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill.

The Public Relations Officer of the group, Ms Ijeoma Uzoma, who made the call in an interview in Lagos, said the bill did not take into consideration any form of protection for unborn babies.

“The bill is actually to protect persons, especially those in the vulnerable group. Paragraph 43 of the bill explained the vulner­able group as women, children, persons living under extreme poverty, persons with disabilities, the sick, the elderly, ethnic or reli­gious minority groups, refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and migrants.

“So, it is going to be of benefit to the nation but, as good as it sounds, it is a bit biased and it did not include all persons.

“There is a group – the most vulnerable of all – that we have forgotten, and these are the un­born persons, because we have to recognise that they are also persons.

“Then the individual sub­stance of their own being, even though they are yet to be rational, because they are still dependent on their mothers, but that doesn’t mean they are not individuals on their own,” she explained.

According to her, their inclu­sion in the bill would protect the unborn persons against medical abortion

“The bill does not define who a person is. A person is a human be­ing and it includes each and every member of the specie (Homosapi­ens) at all stages of life, beginning with the earliest stage of develop­ment created by the process of fer­tilisation, even cloning or its func­tional equivalence, because those fertilised eggs developed through IVF are also human beings, and they also need to be protected.

“All I am trying to say is that these unborn persons should be included so that they will also be protected at all stages of life, be­cause if they are not included it means the bill is giving room for the unborn persons to be subject­ed to violence and we know that is abortion.

“That means the bill will give room for medical abortion. So, the unborn persons must be pro­tected by this bill. If they are not protected, that means it is simply saying medical abortion is legal,” she posited.

However, Chairman of the Sen­ate Committee on Human Rights and Judiciary, Senator Dahiru Umar, assured stakeholders that the bill would be passed before the expiration of the 7th Assem­bly.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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