Thousands Protested Against Proposed Abortion Law in Malawi
Members of various religious groups in Malawi held street protests Tuesday against a proposed law that would expand women’s ability to terminate a pregnancy. The country's existing law allows only pregnant mothers whose lives are in danger to obtain an abortion.
More than 20,000 people including schoolchildren, medical personnel and members of a Rastafarian sect marched to the parliament in Lilongwe to protest the bill.
Among the placards they carried were signs that read, "A nation that kills its children is a nation without hope," "No life, rights," and "Thank you, mother, for not aborting me."
Leading the protest were the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, an arm of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Evangelical Association of Malawi, an umbrella body of 122 Christian denominations. "Our clear message is: Life begins at the moment of conceptions,” said the Rev. Father Henry Saindi, secretary general for the Episcopal Conference of Malawi. “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."
Proponents of the proposed new law say abortion should be allowed to prevent injury to the physical or mental health of a woman; when the pregnancy results from rape, incest or defilement; and when there is severe malformation of the fetus.
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