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Nigeria news: lawmakers disown reproductive rights bill

Several members of the Imo State House of Assembly listed as co-sponsors of a Reproductive Rights Bill has withdrawn from co sponsoring the bill in response to protests by angry Christians at the premises of Imo State House of Assembly, Tuesday

Four women organisations, including Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Women Advancement for economic and Leadership Empowerment (WAELE), National Council for Women Societies (NCWS) and National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), had called for the passage of the Bill.

Some of the placards carried by the Christian protesters read, “I am a child not a choice”, “I am proud to be a mother,” ” No free sex,” “Respect the dignity of women,” and “Abortion is a crime”.

Addressing the protesters earlier at Maria Assumpta Catholic Cathedral, Owerri, the Deputy Majority Leader and member representing Orsu state constituency, Mr. Stan Dara, said that some of his colleagues whose names appeared as co-sponsors of the controversial Bill, were not consulted before being listed in the Order Paper.

“Some lawmakers have since withdrawn from co-sponsoring the Bill. Some names were included without their consent.

Others did not quite appreciate the import of the provisions of the Bill before accepting to co-sponsor the Bill”, Dara said.