Kathy Shaidle did a fine job of Raining on the Nelson Mandela Parade in advance back in July, documenting the former South African president’s history of violence and associations with Marxists and communists. While we’re on the subject, I’d like to continue raining down a little more actual history to mix with the messianic fervor continuing to build around Mandela’s legacy:
I tell you, sir, it will not be 40 years from now and people will question your humanity for legalising abortion.
Those were Peter Hammond’s words to Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela during a 1996 meeting at the South African president’s official residence.
Hammond was born in Cape Town and went into Christian ministry after his service in the South African National Defense Force. According to his biography, he launched “Frontline Fellowship as a mission of Christians from a military background to serve persecuted churches in communist countries” across the South African border. In the years since they have smuggled hundreds of thousands of Bibles and Christian books into Marxist and Muslim countries. “Peter has been ambushed, come under aerial and artillery bombardments, been stabbed, shot at, beaten by mobs, arrested and imprisoned,” as he has taken his Christian faith into hostile territory.
Upon learning that F.W. DeKlerk’s government intended to legalize abortion, Hammond helped to organize African Christian Action, perhaps the first pro-life movement begun before the legalization of abortion in a country. In the spring of 1996 Hammond was leading marches to parliament, some estimated at 30,000 people. In May of 1996 Hammond was summoned to meet President Mandela at his official residence. Hammond gives a stunning account of their meeting:
The first question from President Mandela was: “So, Mr. Hammond what were you doing in the years of struggle?”
“I was fighting people like you, sir.” I answered.
Nelson Mandela laughed and reached out his hand saying: “I’m so pleased to meet an honest white man! Every other white has told me how they always supported me and opposed apartheid. I wondered how the National Party stayed in power for over 40 years!”
“Well, Mr. President, make no mistake, I was not fighting for apartheid. I was fighting against communism and against terrorism.”
At this the president declared that “apartheid was the greatest evil in history of the world.”
“I cannot agree Mr. President, that prize has to go to your friends and supporters, the communists. Secular humanist, communist regimes have killed well over 160 Million people during the 20 th Century. That’s not 160 Million people killed in war by invading armies. That’s 160 Million people killed by their own governments: secular, socialist states.”
As the president was still staring at me without response, I continued and detailed out the 36 Million killed under Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union, the over 68 Million murdered under Mao Tse Tung oppression in Communist China. The over 2 Million killed under Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. The millions more killed under Mengistu in Ethiopia, under Samora Machel in Mozambique, and Agistino Neto in Angola, and under Fidel Castro in Cuba.
Nelson Mandela stared at me impassively and then, leaning back, he stared at the ceiling and started to drift off down memory lane talking about how when he was a prisoner on Robben Island, the Boers had refused to allow him sunglasses. As his eyes were very sensitive, it was most painful being outside without shade for his sensitive eyes.
I responded: “Mr. President I also have very sensitive eyes and I can fully understand how uncomfortable and painful that must have been, but it hardly compares with the atrocities documented by Aleksandra Solzenitzen and in The Black Book of Communism.”
And so the conversation went. At one point Nelson Mandela expressed his surprise that we wanted to “restrict the rights of women” by opposing abortion. I responded: “Mr. President you are questioning the Christianity of people who 40 years ago justified apartheid. I tell you, sir, it will not be 40 years from now and people will question your humanity for legalising abortion. You are seeking to replace apartheid with abortion. And abortion is even worse than apartheid. Abortion does not just place the baby on a separate voter’s role and restrict where they can live or swim. Abortion takes the baby’s life. Life begins at conception and abortion is the violent taking of that life.”
“Abortion is the worst type of apartheid, for it separates a baby from its own mother and from its life support, at its most crucial state of development. You are seeking to replace discrimination on the basis of race with discrimination on the basis of age.”
At the end of the hour, Nelson Mandela stood up and told us that we could now take our pictures. I did not mean to be rude, but we honestly hadn’t even thought about that: “No thank you,” I said. He turned mouth agape in apparent shock. Perhaps we were the first delegation to meet with him who didn’t want to have pictures taken with him. I then hastened to add: “But, we would like to pray for you.”
“No! No! That’s very private and personal.” I pretended not to hear and put a hand on one shoulder while Rev. Soon Zevenster placed his hand on the other shoulder. We prayed that the Lord would not grant Mr. Mandela any peace until he did what he knew what was right, until he introduced legislation for the protection of babies from the violence and injustice of abortion. I prayed that Mr. Mandela would find peace in Christ by bowing the knee and surrendering to Almighty God to do His will.
Hammond handed Mandela a book by Dr. James Kennedy and they parted on friendly terms, Mandela assuring Hammond that he would was always responsive to the concerns of his constituents. “However,” said Hammond, “the next week senior investigators of his Revenue Service began a 7 year Audit of our mission and family!”
Ultimately, South Africa did legalize abortion — crafting one of the most liberal abortion laws on the earth. Although it was requested that parliament members be allowed to vote according to their personal beliefs, the ruling party– the African National Congress–would not allow its members to vote against the act, and the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act passed by 209 votes to 87 (5 abstained, 99 were absent). It became law on February 1, 1997. Signed by Nelson Mandela, it replaced one of the world’s toughest abortion laws with what the Guttmacher Institute described as “one of the most liberal abortion laws in the world.” As the LA Times described it at the time:
Under the new law, women and girls will be entitled to a state-financed abortion on demand during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy if they have no private medical insurance, and, subject to widely defined conditions, for a further eight weeks.
Despite strong protest by opposition parties and interest groups, the law gives children the sole right to decide whether to have an abortion.
Doctors and midwives have to advise a minor to consult her parents — but the law specifically states that the abortion will not be denied if the minor refuses to inform her parents.
Abortions up to twenty weeks are allowed for virtually any reason, including conditions that would “affect the woman’s social or economic circumstances.” They are provided for free at certain state hospitals and clinics.
LifeNews reports that
In addition, the wording of the new South African constitution, signed by Mr Mandela in 1996, had made the legalisation of abortion on demand a mere formality. Mr Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) has a strong ideological commitment to abortion, with the ANC Women’s League strongly behind the legalisation of abortion on demand.
Mandela is almost universally hailed as a humanitarian and man of peace. His sanitized, iconic image omits many of his Marxist and Communist ties and and his violent past. Curiously, the Wikipedia pages related to abortion in South Africa and the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act have completely scrubbed Mandela as an accomplice in imposing the injustice of abortion upon the nation he led. We can all agree that the end of racial apartheid in South Africa was a victory for human rights and we can find reasons to praise Mandela for his role in affecting social change leading to the end of the horrendous racial injustice of apartheid. However, we cannot simply, in our rush to nearly deify the man, brush aside his role in replacing “apartheid with abortion,” stripping unborn children of their rights to life and liberty. Because of Mandela, millions of children are missing from South Africa due to widespread, government-funded abortion. That lost generation of children must also be Mandela’s legacy.