By Steven Godfrey Mkweteza
Archbishop of Blantyre diocese Thomas Luke Msusa has called upon the religious community in the country to go on the mass demonstration if members of parliament table the abortion bill during the current mid-year budget review meeting taking place at parliament building in Lilongwe.

Msusa, who is also the chairperson of the episcopal conference of Malawi {ECM}, said in an interview amidst reports that the parliament is scheduled to bring back the abortion bill in the current sitting.

The archbishop said parliament has to relatively discuss more pertinent issues affecting the country such as electricity, economy, corruption and food insecurity than the in famous bill.

“We except members of parliament to discuss many pertinent issues such as electricity, economy, food security and corruption that have engulfed this country,” said Msusa, “adding, we are ready to go back into the street if parliament will table the abortion and marital status bill”.

Msusa advised the religious community to follow the natural family planning methods rather than the modern practices of using contraceptives such as condoms as it promotes promiscuity.

“Honestly, we should stand on our belief of natural family planning methods other than the other shortcuts and we have to be faithful to our partners,” said Msusa.

The archbishop said if only well trained, people can be able to handle the family methods so as to reduce cases of deaths and premature births.

On the other hand, the archbishop also advised the faith community to e responsible for bearing a good number of people that they can be able to care.

In Malawi, abortion is legal only if performed to save a woman’s life: other attempts to procure an abortion are punishable by 7-14 years imprisonment. Most induced abortions in Malawi are performed under unsafe conditions, contributing to Malawi’s high maternal mortality ratio.

Malawians are currently, debating whether to provide additional exceptions under which an abortion may be legally obtained.

Statistics indicate that in Malawi, an estimated 67, 300 induced abortions occurred in 2009, an equivalent to 23 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44.

During the special law commission on the review of the abortion law, Justice Esmie Chombo, chairperson of the commission confirmed that the termination of pregnancy bill that intends to liberalize abortion in the country, is the safe net for the high prevalence of maternal mortality.

ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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