Tuesday saw the mass protest of Malawians against a purported abortion bill amendment. The existing Malawian abortion bill only exempted abortion for pregnant women whose lives were in danger.
The protest, which was organized and carried out by various religious groups, kicked against a proposed amendment of the bill to accommodate more reasons for women to abort their babies. Muslims and even Rastafarians participated in the protest.
Report says that about 20,000 people and more, including schoolchildren, marched to the parliament in Lilongwe to protest the bill. However Malawian government denies that there was no such bill before the parliament.
Records reveal that the government expends an estimated $1 million every year in funding post-abortion care, which is offered in public hospitals.
Malawian religious leaders, Christians especially, have been pivotal to the pro-life advocacy in Malawi. They dubbed the protest a ‘celebration of life and family’.
Pro-abortion supporters argue that amending the bill to include on-demand abortion, will:
- Help reduce the hazardous ordeals that women who employ services of quack dictators.
- Benefit women who become pregnant as a result of rape, incest or defilement; and when there is severe malformation of the fetus.
- Help to preserve both the physical or mental health of a women.
On the other hand, pro-life supporters maintain that life must be preserved from conception till birth.
Rev. Father Henry Saindi, Secretary General for the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, said:
“Our clear message is: Life begins at the moment of conceptions. Life of the human being was created in the image and likeliness of God himself, so nobody has the right to decide to take life at whatever cost.”
By extension, the protest equally condemned the act of homosexuality as revealed in their banners and placards during the march.
Chrispine Sibande, National Coordinator Parliamentarian, said:
“So even if they tell parliament, parliament consists of reasonable people who will look for realistic solutions and we believe that parliament will opt for realistic [a] solution, because real problems have to be addressed by real solutions, not noise.”