Religious Leaders Network for Choice have asked members of parliament to consider tabling the proposed termination of pregnancy bill within the current sitting of parliament and pass it into law.
Chairperson of the Network, Reverend Canon Martin Bob Kalimbe said that they want members of parliament to consider the issue as a sexual reproductive and health rights issue which mainly concern women who are at times faced with moral as well as medical dilemas .
He added that they are of the view that the call from the ministry of health prior to 2013 to review the current laws guiding termination of pregnancy did not come out the vacuum but the Heath professionals were convinced beyond reasonable doubt that unsafe abortion is a serious cause of death among women who could be saved if an alternative law was passed.
“World religious justify abortion on this ground when there is evidence beyond reasonable doubt that the pregnancy poses serious threat of death to the woman if she continues carrying the pregnancy.An example of such cases is where the pregnancy is developing outside the uterus and can not naturally come to term but it can hurt and harm the woman if it is left to keep developing in the fallopian tube.
“World religious also justify abortion on this ground when there is evidence beyond reasonable doubt that whant appears to be developing as a foetus in the womb of the woman shall not actually become a human being upon delivery.This is where scans have shown what is developing in the womb of the woman is merely as stone or something that will not survive as a human upon delivery”,He explained
He went to say that they understand that from the research conducted that every individual representing his or her faith group made supplications of their individual denominal teachings which were later considered to form the proposed grounds on which abortions should be allowed in Malawi.
On her part , Senior Chief Kayembe of Dowa District said that she is in support of the issue considering that community leaders are the ones who are receiving and witnessing the deaths of young women dying from unsafe abortion which is very worrisome as such an urgent solution is needed to curb the current situation.
The network is formed by different religious leaders from Christianity and Muslims.
The law on abortion is governed by the Penal Code . Generally, section,149,150,151 and 243 of the Penal Code prohibit termination of the pregnancy and the only exception for allowing it is where the life of the mother is threatened .
Section 149 prohibits the act of procuring the miscarriage of woman through the unlawful administration of any poison, noxious substance or the use of force.