MALAWI: Religious Groups Unite Against Proposed Abortion Bill

By Njoki Githinji

LILONGWE, SEPTEMBER 15, 2020 (CISA)-Religious groups in Malawi have decried the intention by the Parliamentary Committee on Health to push for an amendment of the law to allow abortion in the country.

“…we condemn the proposed bill, which seeks to introduce direct  abortions because it is gravely sinful. Life must be safeguarded with extreme care from conception; abortion and infanticide are abominable  crimes,” they said in a September 14 joint statement.

The groups including the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), Malawi Council of Churches (MCC), Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM), Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) and Quadria Muslim Association of Malawi (QMAM) called on legislators to reject the bill as it does not protect mothers and unborn children.

“…our members of Parliament should reject any proposal to amend the current laws on abortion as they adequately protect both the mother and the unborn child… The proposed amendment does not protect the life of the unborn child. The current law protects both the child and mother,” they said.

According to the groups, this is the second time the proposed bill is being planned to be presented in Parliament.

A similar one was discontinued on December 6, 2016 following nationwide protests by citizens in all districts in the country when the Episcopal Conference of Malawi and the Evangelical Association of Malawi jointly organized a “March for Life and Family.”

The leaders called on citizens to support the protection of all human life.

“We, the religious mother bodies in the country would like to reiterate our position that we celebrate, protect and defend life and the dignity of the human person and we call for collective voice to all Malawians to stand up for the life of all people, including the unborn child,” they said.

They noted that hat no institution including Parliament, Courts, Executive arm of the Government, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) or foreign agencies have the legal right to terminate life.