Chiefs, MPs and faith leaders tussle over Termination of Pregnancy Bill: Lunguzi ‘clarify’ her stand

Traditional authorities, Members of Parliament and leaders of political parties have been meeting in Salima to discuss on the way forward and current status of  a bill that would change the law to allow women to terminate a pregnancy  known as Termination of Pregnancy or  TOP.

MP Lunguzi receivied the petition from Rev Fr Saindi on TOP: Says there should be robust debate on the abortion bill

The bill is currently generating a lot of debate due to cultural, religious and economic aspect attached to it.

Recently the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) and Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) petitioned Parliament where the influential bodies openly told them “don’t discuss the bill”.

But speaking in Salima some raditional leaders expressed surprise that the stand was taken without their consultation.

” We just saw them demonstrating,” Senior chief Kasakula said.

He said  the bill is very important because once it is passed into law, it will help to save women as it wwould also allow abortion in cases of incest, rape and foetal impairment .

The chief said women should decide what happens to their bodies  because they  are the ones who suffer.

“Our women will continue to go to quacks to get rid of unwanted pregnancies … women are having abortions all the time and what we want to see happen is for our women to have safe abortions that will prevent the countless deaths,” he said.

Kasakula commended Coalition for Prevention of Unsafe Abortion (COPUA) for organising experts to give them insights on the magnitude of abortion in the country.

The medical experts which the chiefs were commending for their persuading presentations included top and renowned gaenacologists  in the country; Dr Chisale Mhango,  Dr Thoko Msusa , both senior lectures at College of Medicine and Dr Grace Chiudzu.

Giving their side of the story members of the clergy advised journalists to be objective whenever reporting on TOP bill.

Human Rights Resource Centre acting Executive Director, Emma Kaliya also quashed the demonstrations which was organised by the faith leader on abortion bill as a waste of time

Kaliya said there is a lot of issues worthy demonstrating .

“Our women are being raped and there is high rate and alarming figures of defilement but nothing is happening on them., no demonstration,” she said

Kaliya wondered why the demonstrators attached gay issues on TOP bill.

“They attached gay issues in order to buy public sympathy,” reasoned Kaliya.

Democratic Progressive Party member of Parliament Kamuyambeni earlier the day told the delegates that as MPs they have no problem with the bill.

“What we are saying is that we  need more debate on the bill and we  are asking you to do more consultations on the bill so that people from our villages should tell us  what they want ” he said.

Currently, 70,000 women and girls terminate pregnancies every year while 31,000 get treated of complications of unsafe termination of pregnancy.

The statistics indicate that 17% of pregnancy related deaths in Malawi is attributable to unsafe abortion rendering poor women and girls suffering.

Chairperson of Parliamentary committee on health Juliana Lunguzi said she was not happy that the media reported that she will not support the TOP bill.

“I never said that.  I was misquoted what I said when receiving the petition from church leaders was that we need more consultations on this bill than rushing,”  said Lunguzi in change of tune.

She said MPs cannot sit by while women die needlessly from unsafe abortion.

Lunguzi said MPs uphold women’s rights to dignity, life, integrity and security, and their reproductive rights.

But faith leaders insist TOP will be amplifying and magnifying the right of the woman yet violating the right of the child.

They argue that bill undermines fundamental cultural and religious values; it promotes the culture of death, and makes individual choice and freedom more important than the moral imperative of human conscience.

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nasimero
Guest

Anayamba kutibweretsera safe motherhood,tinalandira kenaka safe sex,tinalandiranso, pano safe abortion. Akutipatsa everything safe . Mmmmmm we need to open our eyes ! Why not promoting family planning ?????? Who will be providing this safe killing ?? Ndekuti tisiya kuchulukana chifukwa cha safe abortion?? Azibambo , mimba zikuchotsedwazi ndi zanu , mukutenga nawo gawo pochotsa mimba ?????

Patriot
Guest

Lets learn to reason Malawians. Umphawi utidyetsa zosadya. A kaliya kodi mayi anu akanati akupangeni abort bwezi muliko inu? Vuto lakula azimayinu chisembwele mmadziwa ndithu kuti kuli mimba koma dala. Nde ukayima samala basi. Be moraly upright

Zuwulani Mulara
Guest

The problem in Malawi is that people do not want to provide solutions. Kodi inuyo mukukana kuti azimai ndi atsikana azichotsa mimba, what is your plan? What is your suggestion? What is your solution? When we had HIV and AIDS, WHO said condomize. Inuyo mumati that is promiscuity. Now you remember what happened? Evidence is clear that women and girls are aborting. Nobody can stop them. The solution is provide safe abortion so that they do not die. Simple. What is it that you do not understand?

Anganga Ajabilu
Guest

Simply put women are dying because of abortion…then we r saying no to abortion whether safe or unsafe abortion….because we are not certain that when women undergoes the so called ‘safe’ abortion, they don’t die….we r sure they can. So whichever abortion is still unsafe. Why? Because it involves killing of the unborn baby and it endangers the mother’s life. Therefore when we say NO to ABORTION we are simply saying YES to LIFE to both the mother and the child.

Tt
Guest

Millions of women spontaneously abort everyday, most don’t even know it. So if there is a God who allows women to abort by the the millions, then we should accept the fact that he alone is the most successful and most efficient abortionist in the universe. Yahwe is the best serial killer

Jelbin mk
Guest

Do what you would like your mother do unto you. If you have liked your mother to have aborted you just because she was too afraid of birth complications then do the same. There is no accidental or unwanted pregnancy, all pregnances are done with full conscience axcept in rape. In rape if reported in time at the hospitals they drain sperms before fertilisation takes place so chances are extremely slim of getting pregnant of rape and there are very few cases of rape related pregnancy. All those advocating for this are advocating for immorality and whoredom.

Deadend
Guest
Those promoting this bill are not smart people at all. I work in reproductive health and there is no country that has ever passed a bill called “Pregnancy Termination bill”. One could have called this safe motherhood bill or simply reproductive health bill and provide for safe abortion for those in need as a starting point. Why are all these NGOs and CoM academics being given so much money by western donors to promote abortion when they don’t even know how to do smart advocacy? This issue cannot be resolved through name calling or dismissing those who are pro-life. They… Read more »
Barnaba Sila
Guest
Lunguzi and Kasakula, I have some advice to offer to u! You have been bribed by blood money to lobby for legalization of abortion in Malawi. What you need to know is that Malawi will continue to suffer if it continues to use aid/support/donations that are tainted with blood. Yes we are poor, but continuing to receive cursed money will not help in any way. I know the advocates of this social malady have received a lot of money to entice poor mps, chiefs, etc to force the adoption of issues we Malawians don’t like (homosexuality, lesbianism, abortion). Let me… Read more »
Let Us Pray
Guest

Keep killing the unborn because they have no voice !! Surely this Country is cursed and shall remain as such. Colleagues whether you like it or you don’t like it, SIN is not debatable. Only fools will go on debating over SIN.

samuel kwakwase
Guest

We have a chance to debate this issue because we were not aborted! Use your heads and be Human to the voiceless, the unborn babies! shame for our nation if we killing 70,000 children a year ! may the Lord have mercy! The wages of sin is death so if you die because of abortion don’t be surprised zofuna

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