Malawi Churches protest plan to legalise abortion: ‘It is murder’

Leaders of Malawi’s biggest Christian church movement, the Malawi Council of Churches (MCC), has spoken against moves to legalise abortion for all women.

Currently, abortion is outlawed except in cases where pregnancy threatens the life of the mother.

According to the laws, any person who administers an abortion faces 14 years imprisonment and any woman who solicits an abortion is liable to 7 years in prison.

Despite this, abortions still occur, usually performed by untrained personnel and a recent study proposed to government to consider liberalizing abortion laws so that all women should have access to abortion using safe methods from trained medical practitioners.

Published reports say a draft bill on legalizing abortion is waiting to be tabled in Parliament.

Speaker of the National Assembly, Henry Chimunthu Banda, has since expressed optimism on the passage of law on legal availability of abortion.

However, on Tuesday the Church body said in a statement that it is opposing any attempts to legalise termination of pregnancies, saying “abortion works against God’s will”

“Abortion is a spiritual problem. Legalizing the abortion is sinful because God created life as sacred and no-one must tamper with it. God forbids the taking of life because it is murder as revealed in the 10 Commandments – ‘Thou shall not kill’ Ex. 20 vs. 13 and Mathews 15 vs. 19,” reads a statement from MCC made availabke to Nyasa Times by Rev. Dr. Osborne Joda-Mbewe.

“There are no unwanted pregnancies. All humans of sound age indulge into sex aware of the result. Those that have sex outside the sanctity of marriage know that they have sinned and have a guilty conscious and hope to clear their spiritual problem through abortion in their quest for happiness. They do so to remove shame and for want to be accepted by society,” the church organisation said.

“That in the case of pregnancy resulting from rape, there are sufficient laws that work around such situations, and therefore also condemns in the strictest of terms the abandoning and dumping of babies,” the statement added.

The churches advised people who have sinned of pregnancy to repent and “start a new beginning with God.”

The Council urged government, stakeholders to support and empower the Ministry of Health and the Churches to come up with Counseling Centers where couples can be assisted on matters of sex and prepare them for pregnancy.

“Legalizing abortion is not the answer as all life is sacrosanct and that abortion is a threat to the family unit which was institutionalized by God.”

The church body appealed toall Christians, Malawians at large and all stakeholders to take part and convince upon proponents of abortion to exercise reasonableness in handling the matter of abortion.

“Parliamentarians should not abandon their spirituality when in the Chambers and must deeply reconsider the harsh consequences of abortion on the individual, family, community, and the nation.”

MCC stressed their stand that “ abortion should not be made legal in Malaw,” arguing that it  is “an immoral culture that denigrates human dignity, contradictory to God’s teaching – and in itself, a human rights violation as life is denied an opportunity to realize its full potential.”

The Council has 24 Christian Member Churches across the country and 12 para-Church organisations/affiliates.

Meanwhile,  National Coordinator of the Islamic Information Bureau Sheikh Dinala Chabulika also said it would be inhumane for Malawi to legalize the procedure.

“In Islam”, he explained, “abortion is only allowed when there is proof from a medical doctor that the life of a mother will be in danger during delivery.”

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