Catholic church decries liberalised abortion in Malawi

The influential pro-life Catholic Church in Malawi has said its teachings on abortion are not shaken even with the recent announced proposed grounds for legal abortion in the country, saying they  are unacceptable in the Church.

Fr Saindi: Anti-abortion

Fr Saindi: Anti-abortion

The Church has publicly announced its stance on the issue few weeks after pronouncement of findings and recommendations by the Special Law Commission on the Review on Abortion Law.

Section 49 of the Penal Code says anyone administering abortion is liable to imprisonment for 14 years, while Section 150 indicates that any woman who solicits an abortion is liable to 7 years incarceration.

Abortion is only allowed when a woman’s life is in danger. It requires the endorsement of 2, independent obstetricians and the consent of a spouse before it can be performed. It is out of sync with many international agreements.

Secretary General for the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) Fr. Henry Saindi in his speech during commemorations for the Communication Day at Mtima Woyera Parish in the Arch Diocese of Lilongwe, said the Catholic Church stance on abortion will never change, adding that Malawi Catholic Bishops will continue to uphold the church teaching against abortion.

The Special Law Commission on review on Abortion Law, findings and recommendations states that, termination of pregnancy be performed only for certain justifiable instances through an operation.

Recommendations propose that termination of pregnancy be done ‘only’ to save the life of pregnant woman, or if there is malformation of the foetus which will affect its viability or compatibility with life as well as where the pregnancy is as a result of rape, incest or defilement.

“Catholic Church already addressed this issue,” said Fr. Saindi to the congregation “The position of the church has never changed and it will never change”

Fr. Saindi stated that issue of legalizing abortion has come in different way now as recommendations by the Special Commission allows termination of pregnancy for ‘only’ justifiable instances.

However, he said nothing is “new” because the same issue was addressed in 2013 Catholic Bishops Pastoral Letter in which they tackled issues concerning Homosexuality and legalizing Abortion.

“Abortion in these instances cannot be tolerated or permitted by the Catholic Church.” He said and emphasized that “The position of the church is that abortion is the killing the unborn child because we know that the life of a person begins when a child is conceived.”

“The unborn child has a right to live and must always be protected by the society,” continued Fr. Saindi

He then explained that the Catholic Church on abortion advocates and always emphasize the role counseling of women and girls found in a situation of terminating pregnancy.

“For example those who have been raped and found to be pregnant, they have to be counseled, they have to be helped to accept their situation and the gift that God has given to them.”

Malawi’s strict anti-abortion law, traditional cultural practices, which subjugate women and expose young girls to unsafe sex and deeply conservative, Christian society where talking openly about sex remains taboo, are partly being blamed for the high botched abortion fatalities.

Women activists argue that the current restrictive legal and regulatory framework is driving women to undertake unsafe abortions that are often fatal and contributing to the infringement of women’s right to life as well as their dignity and bodily autonomy. –Additional reporting by ECM


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20 thoughts on “Catholic church decries liberalised abortion in Malawi”

  1. gmk says:

    what we mean when legalizing this act iz that we must kill the weak. a person is not just a mere animal,there is something proper to him,thus he haz a soul.Hence life needs to be respected at all levels of human life. Do not let criminals make their shield so that they become law-free. When doing this deliberately, be assured of voluminous consequences.

  2. Prophet Justice says:

    Father, I glorify you because of your grace and mercy of redemption. Forgive us for our selfish and evil thoughts as we call on the Holy Spirit to constantly guard us in your paths of righteousness so that you-Lord, our creator be the centre and essence of our being. Help us Lord not only from any evil, but also its look in whatever form it may be presented. We stand on your word of righteousness which is accuratr, perfect, complete and will hence never turn void but surely fulfil that which it has been sent forth. Jehovah, have mercy on humanity which has utterly become so conceited. You remain gracious, truthful and holy.

  3. clement says:

    Bwanji nkhaniyi akambirane ana amene adakali mmimba mwa mai awo. We are able to discuss like this coz we were born. In fact, this dogma (anti abortion) is not only for Catholic Christians – its for all mankind. Let us not be selfish to our unborn colleagues. The best we can do is to prevent conception

  4. chakhalira says:

    It is very sad to read these comments on abortion. I am not very sure of our Medical Doctors in Malawi to day. There was a time when I visited my private Doctor some years ago. I told him that I was suffering from terrible headache. To my surprise he told me that headache on its own was not a disease. But symptom of a disease some where. So he examined me and said I had Malaria. And he added that the headache was as a result of Malaria.

    There was a motion in Parliament by a certain MP that Chamba must be legalized. I was very impressed with the panelist Martha Kwataine. She said ” How does the consumer ask for legalization of the Chamba? Similarly here, how does the sex worker push for legalization of abortion? Or how does a court in Malawi or United States or UK etc take the place of God to legalize killing a human being?

    In short, abortion is just a symptom of rottenness in our society. First find out the root cause of these pregnancies. Do not twist the truth. Pregnancies through rape are minimal. Most of these are deliberate through promiscuity.

    There is NO WAY the Church that has Light and is Mandated to Shine in Darkness can accept this madness. Judges should be very careful that they do not lead Malawi astray. In Malawi we have human Values AND DIGNITY.

    As a Church we should NEVER relent in Preaching the Word of God. The word says ” Thou shall NOT Commit Adultery” Period!!!!!! To me this is the only WAY OUT.


  5. nachisale says:

    I am a Catholic who is Pro-Abortion because abortion helps women to have the right to keep a pregnancy or NOT – men always have that choice to walk away from pregnancy and children and our Church says NOTHING. Second, abortion is good to keep our families small and our national population low. At the moment government is failing to provide education, school, police WHY because of high population and low productivity and poverty. There are so many women in the village who need abortion because the men just impregnate them and run away and as a Christian I never understand how a church and anyone does not see a problem with men running away from responsibility. The other thing is the church does not feed us and our children, neither does it provide school fees, buy clothes so the CHURCH should stay away from this abortion legislation debate. We do not need bigoted views in the 21st century. As a people and me as a Christian I think abortion is the right way to go. Well done government and it is our prayer as women who carry the burden of pregnancy and raising children that Malawi should have abortion for ALL women without any premitive and bigoted restrictions from SELFISH MEN who are the ones running our churches, NGOs and driving, as Obama said in Ethiopia, a backward culture which benefits their EGO.

  6. For the neonate says:

    Is it not strange that people that agitate for abortion are already born? When do human rights begin? In the womb or after birth? When is a child human?

  7. stephen says:

    i support my church teachings and thats the way to go but if others choose the other way its their choice. it shall be btwn them and their Creator on the judgement day. know that every life is previous. ekelezia ndimukonda ine…ndimukonda… sindindingalowe mpingo wina katolika yekha…singing

  8. SAPITWA says:


  9. Wysn chipolonga says:

    Auzeni amvesetse kuti sizabwino zimenezo. Komaso chomwe angaziwe zichulusa imfa ya azimayi apakati zimenezo.

  10. Wysn chipolonga says:

    Auzeni amvesetse kuti sizabwino zimenezo.

  11. Nediek says:

    Yes, I think Kaka (4) has gotten it wrongly. Fr. Saindi does not say that Government should follow their teaching. He simply is saying, “This is what we stand for”. If government for you means the “Executive” then you missed 2 other arms of government. Whatever. All those arms do have some Catholic members. They are expected to listen to themselves, to their faith, when they take policy decisions at Executive meetings, at parliament or at the court. Kaka, they are not imposing it on the government. They are putting forward clearly their stand. Thanks

  12. zaluma says:

    Catholic priests are against this because they father children who they don’t support. This law to the other extreme is shunning away from responsibility as Catholic priests and pope do. I find no difference. Let those who value responsibility talk on this topic and RC should be the last because they are not good examples.

  13. jojo Mthomeni says:

    Should stealing become so rampant and many people lose their life.Can it be legalized?
    Where abortion is legalized the figures of abortion rise and rise research clearly shows.Already morals are going down and with legalized abortion it will be worse.Let people use contraceptives and not abortion.

  14. fyoshibubu says:


  15. NYAKA 1 says:

    Sure ma boss n DR Father Henry Saindi

  16. Emmanuel Chimphamba says:

    The Catholic Church has withstood criticism for years since 1968 July 25 when Humani Vitae was given out.” Human life is sacred and must be respected” that is what the Catholic Church stands for. That stance has save unborn life. It has formed the conscience of a people. It has disciplined the populations. You have to make the Choice when you are a believer…not just one but a Catholic! The challenge comes when people of different backgrounds and upbringing and faiths…even those who do not believe in God tackle together the issue of abortion. There is no common ground. Especially a pro-abortion sponsored campaign!

  17. Kaka says:

    Not all of us are Catholics so govt stand should not be that of Catholic church. Iwowo in their church should preach to THEIR members not to go for abortion. Some churches say beer drinking is a sin BUT they tell their members not that govt shud abolish beer-drinking ndiye asamatinyase kuti their stand should be national stand. Let them preach to mamembala awo

  18. Chekambewa says:

    Thats what is supossed to be done the best is to abstain if you are not married and to married couples they have to use contraceptives but bot aborting carry on father so that kabwila should know for she had been on the fore front paja ndi huletu

  19. Eye Witness says:

    Yes the Catholics are a pro-life…and am a catholic but pro-choice is so good. If I had chosen the pro-life way I should have ben talking of 5 children now from different mothers but I have one legitimate child ???? which am 100% able to take care of and going to an excellent school.

  20. ibrahim makwati says:

    chibadwile chako sunayankhuleko zamzeru ngati izi apandiye wakamba

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