Malawi abortion law needs reform: Copua lobbies Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament

Coalition for the Prevention of Unsafe Abortion (COPUA) has persuaded Members of Parliament from Legal Affairs Committee on the need to reform the abortion law in the country to ensure that no woman dies from unsafe abortion.

Sibande: Speaking to MPs on the need to allow abortion law reforms

Sibande: Speaking to MPs on the need to allow abortion law reforms

Kachika: Women

Kachika: Abortion law reform

Copua organised a dialogue meeting with Legal Affairs Committee on Women’s Rights, Unsafe Abortion and Law Reform in Malawi held at Capital Hotel in Lilongwe at the weekend.

National Coordinator for Copua, Chrispine Sibande, a human rights lawyer with specialization in Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, said Malawi should reform its laws on abortion to be in line with the recommendation of the African Union through the African Protocol on Women’s Rights and the Maputo Action Plan to which Malawi is a signatory.

Ministry of Health adopted a 2009 Sexual and Reproductive Policy that says safe abortion should be provided by public and private hospitals to the full extent of the law. Government started reviewing laws on abortion in the year 2000 but the bill is not yet in parliament.

“Currently Malawi government is spending millions in providing post abortion care usually from unsafe abortions instead of comprehensive abortion care. It is like tax payers are funding unsafe abortions instead of safe abortions.” said Sibande.

Currently, Malawi is one of the countries in the world with the highest maternal mortality with 17 percent of deaths attributable to unsafe abortion.

Malawi Penal Code criminalizes abortion under sections 149-150 but provides exception under section 243 where it says a surgical operation abortion can be conducted any person with reasonable skill to save a woman’s life.

However modern abortions are procured by simply administering drugs like Cytotec. Cytotec is readily available in almost all Malawi Pharmacies without an abortion law.

Anyone crossing path with the current abortion law is caged for above 14 years.

Dr. Ausbert Thoko Msusa, Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology College of Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department appealed to the MPs to pass the abortion law saying Malawi is the only country remaining to review this law in SADC region.

“The public, government-run health care facilities bear the brunt of caring for post abortion care complications in Malawi, which incurs a cost of between USD $300,000- $500,000 annually. What’s more, families also pay the cost of unsafe abortion when a woman dies.” Said Dr Msusa.

Msusa said surveyed healthcare professionals estimated that first trimester abortions may cost Malawi women an average of about 3,220 MWK ($23); 1,960 MWK ($14) in urban areas and 4,480 MWK ($32) in rural areas.

Law expert Tinyade Kachika who is also the Managing Consultant of the Lawplus said other countries have reviewed the law to fit the current medical status.

Kachika said said the high cost of abortion has severe implications for women, especially those in rural areas.

Parliamentary Legal Chairperson, Lewis Chakhwantha, admitted that the law is indeed very important.

“We need this bill to save the lives of our women,”

Chakhwantha said Malawi should not burry its head under the sand, saying abortion law is needed.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From the World

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

Owe Chrispin Sibande, there is nothing like a “safe” abortion! Any abortion is unsafe! Woe to u who’ll participate in legalizing the killing of babies! My Catholic MPs, kindly rise to the occasion on this one!!!!!

Chintokoso Mikayele

This is needed because right now people are accessing unsafe abortions ena kutokosa mmimba ndi ma spokosi a njinga. And mzimai akapanga chisankho chochots a palibe angamuletse tiyeni nazo inu a Tinyade ndi a Crispin

Mauya VCH

A crime will never become right just because big countries or everybody else around us is doing it.This is not a peer issue.It is about human life!

Mauya VCH

To the honourable parliamentarians!Would you please educate these educated killers that legalising abortion is never the solution to this vice/evil.And never shall abortion ever become a virtue.Personally once conceived a baby should never be killed otherwise never conceive at all and say NO! to abortion.

Blessings Kaliapa

Tadzingodyani ndalamayo yasowa kolowela

Blessings Kaliapa

Munayambila mujaaaa.

Mauya VCH
Here we go dear Malawians!Health/Legal experts crying for the merciless killing of helpless innocent unborn babies in the name of human/women rights;decriminalising crimes.Who knows;next may be sodomy,beastiality,incest,rape,chamba,cashgate etc.Can these agents of death please explain how safe is any abortion at all when yet a human life is being killed in the process!And how safe is the so called “safe abortion” and why are these anti-human life activists now lobbying for the destruction of the very human life they have all along been defending for time in memorial?”Who is the mover behind them?Should we legalise Rape just because rape cases are… Read more »

Viva Chrispine Sibande we want abortion law!!!!

Eliot Kenani Phiri

Let me thank Nyasa Times for being professional in tacking issues of this nature.
As a nation let’s admit that Malawi needed this law yesterday even last year.

Whay is surprising me is that all our neighboring countries have this law in place why not Malawi.

Let me ask President Peter Mutharika who is a law professor himself to assist on this one and save our women.

More From Nyasatimes