Our under-used legal system

Many times we look at things only as a whole, and then find the challenge to be too big to handle. Making abortion illegal in South Africa can be one of those challenges. The idea of overturning a high court judgement, or changing the constitution by two thirds majority vote in national parliament, is, admittedly, a big challenge.

The good news is, however, that the South African legislation system was developed in such a way that legislature may be passed at each level of government: National, Provincial and Municipal. Each of these legislature bodies may pass laws, as long as it does not contradict the law above it (bubbles up to the constitution). A province may even have it’s own constitution, the Western Cape actually does have a constitution of it’s own apart from the National constitution. With some fascinating points like this one:

81. The Western Cape government must adopt and implement policies to actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people of the Western Cape, including policies aimed at achieving the following – 
(i) an environment in which all children —
(i) are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity;
(ii) are protected against exploitation, neglect, abuse and abandonment; and…

– now there is some anti-abortion legislation right there, if you read it right.

You may be wondering where I am trying to go with this point, so I will jump right into it: The political party that you vote for can implement anti-abortion legislature on provincial or even municipal level. The question is, why are they not doing it? And why are we not holding those we voted for accountable?

Getting legislation done on national level may be a big problem, but is it really so big a problem to get legislature done on municipal level? I think not. If we implement the good old divide and conquer strategy we can start ending abortion from the ground up. If we can spark a ProLife trend and voice in municipal (and even provincial) legislature, then we can start saving lives.

Now the challenge that remains then, is the fact that the national legislature allows abortion, and the “lower” levels of legislature can’t override that, but you can implement some red-tape and extra constraints to the legislature. This is what they have been doing in America for a few years now, and it is really picking up the pace. Their national law allows abortion, but the states can add extra legislature to the abortion law. One example is sex-selective abortion, you can implement a law that prohibits mothers from aborting their children if they already know what gender the child is, because most families want boys and not girls. A law like this will champion women’s rights, and will even get liberal support, but in the end it will decrease the amount of abortions that actually happen.

It is possible in South Africa to have a ProLife town, or a ProLife province. So come on politicians, get your act together. Come on people, vote for ProLife candidates, apply pressure, divide and conquer.