Abortion Bill in Parliament on Thursday as Malawi as churches oppose

The Malawi Parliamentary Health Committee says it will present and move a motion of the Termination of Pregnancy (TOP) bill on Thursday, March 11 2021  in the Parliament which will also be presented as a Private Member’s Bill respectively in the face of opposition from faith groups.

Ngwale: To table the bill
Pro-choice campaigners believe almost half of the 193 MPs in the national assembly back the bill, but there is strong opposition.

If passed, the termination of pregnancy bill would allow abortions when a woman’s mental or physical health is in danger, in cases of rape  and incest, and when there are serious foetal abnormalities.

Currently, abortion is only permitted to save a woman’s life and campaigners have been lobbying for change for many years.

MP Matthews Ngwale, Chairperson of the Committee, disaid during a meeting which was organised by a young women led advocacy and service delivery youth organisation called  Foundation for Civic Education and Social Empowerment (FOCESE) in collaboration with  Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and Alliance for Youth Organisations in Malawi (AYSO) at Hotel Victoria in Blantyre that change was needed after “observing that there are an ever increasing number of justifiable situations for the termination of unwanted pregnancies, which have not been covered by existing law”.

The meeting which also engaged different religious leaders,  Chief’s, non governmental organisations,  members of the media as well as health experts was organised in order to hear how Ngwale  is prepared to present the bill and get to know other support that he may need from the people.

Speaking in an interview with Nyasa Tines, Ngwale emphasized that his committee is geared to present the bill and  he is very confident that the Parliament will adopt the bill which he said once it  becomes a law will help to prevent the increased number of girls and women who are dying due to issues of unsafe abortion.

He said many people think that they want to make abortion in its entirety] legal or allow abortion on demand.

“But abortion is already allowed in our laws and what we’re doing is to increase the situations where this can be allowed.

“Our committee has done a massive sensitizing and consultation meetings with fellow legislators, members of the communities, Church leaders, traditional leaders,  who were failing to understand this bill, and I am very glad that so far majority of them have opened up their eyes and are now able to know the importance of this bill.I’ve full confidence that once the bill is presented in parliament it will receive a massive support  and the legislators will allow it to be discussed,” said Ngwale.

He further mentioned that previously parliament meetings  some members were against the bill due to political will but currently they have realised  what it is talking about which he said will assist the motion to have enough support.

In his remarks, Paramount  Chief Kawinga of Machinga commended Ngwale for showing much interest on the need of  implementing the bill which he said will play a positive role in saving lives of many girls and women who are dying due to the complications that arises due to the practice of  unsafe abortion.

“Let me take this opportunity to urge my fellow chiefs to support this bill and take a leading role in sensitizing members of the communities by being on the forefront in educating them on the goodness of implementing this bill so that the increase deaths involving our young girls and women can become  thing of the past,” said Chief Kawinga.

Islamic Commission for Justice and Freedom  (ICJF) chairperson Shaibu Abdul Rahman Ajasie said:” We are  expressed excitement that after fighting for the bill for a long time  it will finally be tabled in the Parliament. This is what we have been waiting for and it our hope and expectation that parliamentarians who are also our policy makers will welcome the motion.”

FOCESE Gender and Protection Manager Titani Magalasi  said commended  the Parliamentary Committee and other partners for showing commitment in making sure that the bill is taken into Parliament for discussion.

“This is a good news to us and we’ll continue bringing new strategies that can help to make the bill to be included in the laws of Malawi,” said Magalasi.

The Episcopal Conference of Malawi, the Evangelical Association of Malawi, Malawi Council of Churches and the Muslim Association of Malawi have long resisted any attempt to change the law. Attempts to introduce the bill in 2016 were rejected after protests.

Henry Saindi, secretary general of the Episcopal Conference, said: “It is only God who can give or take life irrespective of whatever circumstance that has happened. Human life remains sacred and it must be preserved, promoted and defended.

“The bill does not reflect our values, our culture and our aspirations as the nation.”

Brian Ligomeka, director of the Centre for Solutions Journalism, a human rights media organisation that has been lobbying for the bill, said the legal changes would save lives.

“The debate about abortion is not about right or wrong, sin or righteousness, as some assume. It is about how to save the desperate woman who wants to induce an abortion using toxic substances or dangerous objects.”

Losing thousands of women every year to abortion “should move our MPs to pass the law”, he said.

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BornForTheSmoke
BornForTheSmoke
4 months ago

What a woman does with her body should be up to that woman and that woman alone.

Bauleni
Bauleni
4 months ago

Ku parliament kwazaza mabulutu. Need to set higher standards only those with a degree or higher from a reputable university, (not jerusalem ) should be eligible to stand as Mps.

Ernest Nyirenda
Ernest Nyirenda
4 months ago

The bible does not allow abortion. So let’s not bring in some thing contravening to God’s will. Malawi let us not paint sin to look like something not abominable.

My views.
Bauleni
Bauleni
4 months ago

The same bible talks about leaving people with reprocy and other so called unclean and undesirables outside the city to die. Don’t just pick and choose when it suits you. If it was up to the Bible, most of us would be slaves.

Alungwana
Alungwana
4 months ago

Once more I am saying this.
Cursed is he who has been campaigning for this bill
Who has been advocating for this bill
Who will accept the bill
Who will sign for the bill
Who will practice the bill.

God is watching.
Malawi must be careful

KINANASI 1
4 months ago
Reply to  Alungwana

Bravo,life is sacred and must be protected no matter the circumstances

Mastala
Mastala
4 months ago
Reply to  KINANASI 1

Let me rape you and give you a child. Let’s see your views then.

Mastala
Mastala
4 months ago

Malawian churches being led by the worst conservative mbuli on earth. These peoples thinking is soo backwards but they can’t get their heads from where the sun don’t shine.

Cheyo Muyaya
Cheyo Muyaya
4 months ago

Abortion is termination of pregnancy or a life of the unborn child. In Malawi there are provisions for this on health grounds. Therefore, it is very clear that there are some lies attached to the bill such exaggerating that abortion is a solution for deaths due to abortions done unprofessionally. The truth is that IT IS A WAY OUT FOR PROMISCUOUS WAY OF LIFE. People do not want to control their sexual acts therefore they need assurance that if the unwanted pregnancy arises there should be means to terminate. This bill is also trying to infringe on those health workers… Read more »

KINANASI 1
4 months ago
Reply to  Cheyo Muyaya

I salute you

Malawi walero
Malawi walero
4 months ago

If you dont want womens to die of abortion then it was better if you would just allow family planning to be given even to teenagers to avoid pregnances.
But because we are being ruled by satan thats why you are happy to table the bill.
Mind you we dont know maybe God was going to change our country through those you want to terminate.

Top
Top
4 months ago
Reply to  Malawi walero

just why should a rape victim be forced to have that baby. Let her at least have a choice. Rape is terrible as it is. Why should a patient be forced to keep a pregnancy that might kill them.

KINANASI 1
4 months ago
Reply to  Top

You better deal with the raping culture or problem rather than killing an innocent soul.Why do people commit rape and what are the conditions and circumstances that render a pregnancy being a danger to the pregnant woman.Adddress these issues and you will get a balanced solution.Killing will and shall remain a SIN before the creator

Jah
Jah
4 months ago
Reply to  Top

How long does it take for one to know is pregnant??? Why wait up to delivery?? We have emergency pills for preventing unwanted pregnancies period!!

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