Malawi Council of Churches backs safe abortion, drills faith leaders

Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) has expressed optimism that the faith community will endorse the reformed abortion laws and policies to ensure women and girls, mostly from poor families, are not dying of unsafe abortions complications.

Dr Kuchingale: Unsafe abortion is second leading cause of maternal death in Malawi

Dr Kuchingale: Unsafe abortion is second leading cause of maternal death in Malawi

Faith leaders meeting in Mangochi

Faith leaders meeting in Mangochi

According to statistics, Malawi has one of the highest Maternal Mortality Ratios in the world with 675 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies, and unsafe abortion contributes about 17 percent of the deaths.

Restrictive abortion laws and policies have been forcing woman and girls to seek unsafe abortion services from untrained people with figures showing that about 70,000 women have abortions in Malawi every year translating into 24 abortions for every 1,000 women aged between 15 and 44.

In an interview with Nyasa Times  on Thursday during a two-day Religious Leaders Dialogue on Maternal Health, Human Rights and Abortion Law Reform in Mangochi, MCC General Secretary Bishop Doctor Gilford Immanuel Matonga was optimistic that the faith community will back the reformed abortion laws yet to be tabled in Parliament.

“It is necessary for the church to consider adding new grounds on which safe abortions can be allowed. We would want to sensitize faith community on grounds to provide for safe abortions,” said Bishop Matonga.

He added: “The Proposed bill gives guidance on how safe abortions can be done. After being properly informed, the church will be able to approve. The problem is that the faith community was not well communicated. People think the church is forcing leaders to endorse the bill. There is a need for leaders to be fully informed, and I believe they will endorse the bill”.

However, Matonga was quick to point out that the church stand will remain the same on free-for-all abortions, saying the faith community will only support safe abortions with restrictions.

“The church opposes abortion on demand; meaning if a woman is pregnant should not just seek abortion at free will. The proposed law gives three grounds on why abortion can be done. One is when she is raped, when her life is threatened by the pregnancy and on incest thus when a child is impregnated by a family member. But also when there is a malformation of the fetus- no proper development of the child in the womb”.

The two-day meeting was aimed at informing religious leaders on the proposed law to ensure they add value to the discussion from an informed position but also to have dialogue as church leaders on the magnitude of unsafe abortion.

Bishop Matonga said the meeting helped to address issues of maternal health; human rights and proposed law on unsafe abortions since there have been a lot of comments made and issues discussed out of ignorance.

“Usually unsafe abortion is associated with prostitutes and women of immoral conduct, but most of our members are inducing self abortions. Unsafe abortions are becoming a drain on the economy.

“The church has to look for ways how to help to reduce deaths of unsafe abortions, improve communication of information on dangers of unsafe abortions, and contribute to what is being proposed in the new bill as faith community. Church says determines what politicians do”.

Guest speaker to the meeting was Medical Association of Malawi president gynecologist Dr Edgar Kuchingale who highlighted the magnitude of unsafe abortions in Malawi, saying the reformed law will protect lives of poor women and girls who cannot afford proper medical care.

“People mostly doing unsafe abortions are married and they are church members. And most of the women that are dying of unsafe abortions are rural and poor. Nowadays it’s rare to see rich women dying of unsafe abortion because the situation has changed now,” said Kuchingale.

Kuchingale said the situation in the country is still worse in as far as unsafe abortions are concerned, disclosing that more than 50 percent of women do not use family planning methods resulting in unwanted pregnancies.

And Bishop Matonga agreed with Kuchingale saying, the church is not communicating well to its members on available contraceptives.

According to statistics, about 31, 000 Malawian women are treated for complications of unsafe abortion annually; 50 percent are young girls below 25 years of age while 80 percent are married women and 64 percent are rural girls and women.

Women in Malawi, according to information, seek abortions due to poverty and inability to support more children; the desire of young girls to remain in school; extra-marital pregnancy; partner insistence and parental insistence. They also seek abortion after getting pregnancy from prostitution and when the pregnancy is too close to the previous pregnancy and also pregnancy that is the result of defilement, rape or incest.

Others abort to avoid being expelled from the Church or restrictions in work policies on maternity leave or restrictions in private medical insurance schemes and also when the relationship is abusive.

In Malawi approximately 70,000 women have abortions every year and 30,000 of those women are treated for complications of unsafe abortion. Public run health care facilities spend about US$300,000-US$500,000 annually in caring for post-abortion care implications.

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13 thoughts on “Malawi Council of Churches backs safe abortion, drills faith leaders”

  1. wtf says:

    Some stupid borrowed philosophy PROGRESSIVE. the hell. Progressive is what keeps you in debt. progressive is what allows neo colonialists to come and rape your resources. What the hell are you smoking stop borrowing western philosophies and taking your ideas from a Satanist country like usa, and Britain. What other sins have been committed except the sin of ignorance. A black person who is progressive. Your mother should have aborted your progressive dumb ass ps. Being pro life has nothing to do with Jesus. He never existed. GTFOUTA HERE

  2. Jah Man says:

    (Safe)ABORTION = KILLING A LIVE UNBORN PERSON/ BABY

    ……………THEN

    WHAT DOES BIBLE SAY ABOUT KILLING???????

  3. Kasudubuzi says:

    I do not believe the statistics of abortion bodza lene lene

  4. Mmalawi says:

    Typical comments “God fearing” Malawians that lash out when it comes to judging other people’s sins and ignore all the other sins that have crippled this country.

    If the church feels like they want to be progressive let them be. The person doing abortion will answer for their own “sin” so will each and every individual. It’s a shame that we tend to weigh sin and forget that a lying,stealing, killing, lack of love etc are all the same in the eyes of God.

  5. Dziko manja mwa satana says:

    The world is in the hands of the wicked. Ha Satan. to a point that even the ones who are supposed to protect life the so called clergy are promoting genocide of the unborn to appease their masters, the united nations, IMF and who ever ANTI AFRICAN people organization is out there. Why cant these devils ask the question why are we poor? Is killing the unborn solve the issue of poverty. But no they actually advocate safe abortions as planned by the devil so as to appease his blood the demons who thrive on murder and genocide. Why is the rationale of poverty being used to kill others . Poverty is a man made circumstance, depriving others of material possessions and comfort and creating an poverty class to kill and throw away. Abusa ndi a mpingo mwasankha mbali yanu yopha anthu molo moti mudzifunsa mafunso okweza moyo. mufuna kupha ana. a side which is the devils side the murders side, indeed the enemy has the church by the cloth. may be christiana is not Gods religion because it seems to advocate killing, oppressing others enslaving others and lying to the masses about true spirituality. all of your clergy men YOUR MOTHERS SHOULD HAVE ABORTED YOU INSTEAD . Pitani kwa bwana wanu satan mukapsye ku gehena nutavala mpanti wonyika mu fuel. . mxiii.

  6. Ngawalintudzi says:

    Kodi ngati amataya mimba, chimene chikukukhudzani ndi chiani? Kodi tchimo la otaya mimba azibusawa Mulungu amawayimbira nawo mulandu. Azibusa athu inu musataye chikhalidwe. Mukundidabwitsa, mukuganiza ngati anthu okomedwa ndi chuma, mui ndi nzeru?

  7. Ngwazi says:

    MCC si bungwe la Mulungu limenero ndi la chipani cha DPP, a Maulana, a JB i mean Joseph Bvumbwe ma interest awo ndikuthandiza Boma kuti cholinga chake chizikwaniritsodwa. Kodi ngati azimayi ndi atsikana amwamalira, ndi abale anu, mumapitako ku maliroko? Kodi ndalama mumapangira workshopyo mwazitenga kuti? Asaaa Malawi Council of Churches, mwandichititsa manyazi, kenako muvomerezanso zoti amuna azikwatirana okhaokha, SHAME for the Council1 Heeee

  8. Mgonapamhanya says:

    So God was punishing the poor who could not afford safe abortion and the clergy have come to their rescue by accepting “safe” abortion as good? What kind of a joke is this? These are the same people who claim that Malawi is a God fearing nation yet they practice selective obedience to Him. The bitter truth is that religion died long time. That is why wise people all over the world have realized that going to church every Sunday is an old fashioned way of wasting time. These clergy are Jesus’ false friends.

  9. ZITSILU says:

    aZIBUSA ADYERA YOU CANT STAND UP FOR SCRIPTURAL VALUES??? GODDAMN YOU

  10. Christian activist says:

    So sad! Timatcha!

  11. mbuli67 says:

    Will accept with restrictions? What nonsense is that. Ingonenani kuti tavomera anthu adyera inu.

    1. Reason a bit says:

      We are a nation with priorities turned upside down! We are busy complaining about unsuccessful abortions while ignoring the fact that the one aborting is killing someone and no one has a right to kill. Human life is sacred by the fact that we are created in God’s image and resemblance. What a shame that the so called churches here don’t understand the Word of God that they preach! God will certainly judge these men of God who out of greed are failing to protect the innocent of God. The prophetic voice from any man of God in such kind of a scenario should be, stop doing evil, you shall not kill the innocent children! A mother dying during abortion is a victim of the evil of killing the unborn child. A law will not transform this evil into righteousness but deform and corrupt human mind that will think killing the unborn babies is correct. But at the end if the day, God will have a final say on this issue, no one will escape the moral and religious responsibility of authorizing the killing of unborn children, the defenceless of our society but the precious in the eyes of God! The law is made by a multitude but the responsibility is personal. Chikumbumtima chikuphani because whether defended by law or not, evil remains evil and your conscience will judge you because God looks at you as an individual and not some criminal laws. I entrust my anger in God’s hands.

      1. Jintha Jembe says:

        Yes! shame on MCC well said Reason a bit. The bible is clear that the wages of sin is death so if one aborts and dies she has asked for her wages even if was raped we do not correct evil by doing evil. There is no point of negotiating or bargaining on sin.

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