Liberia: FJN Blasts Lawmakers Pushing for Abortion Legalization

Rev. Dr. Tolbert Jallah, Faith and Justice Network Regional Executive reading the statement

The Faith and Justice Network (FJN) has urged the public to reject moves by some lawmakers to legalize abortion in Liberia. 

“The FJN, a leading advocate for ethical principles and social justice, vehemently rejects the recent submitted bill by a tiny group of misguided Liberian lawmakers to legalize abortion.” 

In a press statement, FJN, a faith-based network , believed that the move undermines the values of life, compassion, and community that our nation holds dear.

Abortion in Liberia is prohibited in all forms but with a few exceptional cases, such as rape, incest, and when the life or health of the mother is at risk, which has to be proven by two physician before the abortion can be performed. Those who do not follow this procedure are penalized with a jailed sentence. 

Advocates argue that criminalizing abortion does not stop women from seeking it, but rather puts their lives at risk. They believe that legalizing and regulating abortion services would provide safe and accessible options for women in need.

“The Faith and Justice Network expresses deep concern over the behaviors of some legislators pushing for this bill, touting it as a step toward progress. Progress, however, should never come at the cost of forsaking our core values of compassion, empathy, and respect for life. It is disappointing to witness some lawmakers championing this bill under the pretense of progress and modernity,” the release said. 

Proponents of abortion legalization argue that it is necessary for women's reproductive rights and to reduce maternal mortality rates in the country.   

However, religious leaders and critics disagreed and argued that legalizing abortion would undermine the sanctity of life and contradict religious teachings.

Quite recently the senate have come under pressure from the Amplifying Rights Network, a coalition of ten civil society organizations in the field of sexual reproductive health and rights,  which has been lobbying for the decriminalization of abortion.

According to FJN, Liberians must remember that progress should be grounded in respect for human dignity and human rights, rather than being swayed by external pressures or misguided ideologies. “The proposed legislation fails to consider the profound ethical implications of ending innocent lives and disregards the emotional and psychological toll that such a decision would have on countless individuals and families.”

“Abortion is a deeply sensitive and complex issue, touching on matters of morality, ethics, and individual rights. Our Network firmly believes in the sanctity of life and the inherent value of every human being, from conception to natural death. The proposed legalization of abortion contradicts these foundational beliefs and threatens to erode the moral fabric of our society.

"Don’t Legalize Killing,"! We emphatically reject any attempt to undermine the sanctity of life and the principles that define our nation's character. We call on all Liberians who value life, compassion, and justice to stand united against this reckless bill. Our nation's strength lies in our shared commitment to upholding the values that define us.”

The Faith and Justice Network calls upon Liberians and all foreign residents who  to rally against this  proposal. “It is our collective duty to uphold the values that make Liberia a beacon of hope and compassion in the world. Through open dialogue, understanding, and unity, we can find common ground that respects life while addressing the challenges our nation faces.”

“The Faith and Justice Network will continue to advocate for the protection of life and the empowerment of vulnerable individuals. Let us foster a culture of dialogue, understanding, and empathy, seeking solutions that uphold the well-being of all citizens of our society. We stand ready to engage in constructive discussions with lawmakers, religious leaders, and civil society organizations to find common ground and work towards a more compassionate and just Liberia.”

FJN is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting ethical values, social justice, and the common good in Liberia. Through advocacy, education, and community engagement, we strive to create a society where human dignity is upheld, and the well-being of all individuals is safeguarded.