Muslim Association of Malawi has urged the special law commission to consider the religious factor when drafting abortion laws.
The call was made during a consultative meeting organized by the special law commission on abortion in Mzuzu. In Malawi abortion is an offence under the Penal Code. Sections 149-151 which attracts a jail term of for anyone found administering it with seven years forwoman who aborts.
While any person who unlawfully supplies to or procures for any person anything whatever, knowing that it is intended to be unlawfully used to procure the miscarriage of a woman, whether she is or is not with child, shall be guilty of a felony and shall be liable to imprisonment for three years.
The only exception is where it is done to preserve the life of the mother.
Speaking in an interview after the meeting chairperson for MAM responsible for the Northern region Sheikh Lifa Binali said Islamic teachings do not allow abortion. “Islam permits abortion only based on recommendations from the medical doctor.”
Islam alongside other religious grouping doesn’t condone abortions and it remains a tough task for those pushing for the repealing of the abortion law in a country regarded as a God fearing nation.
Health experts claim that lives of many women including girls are being lost at a a fast rate due to unsafe abortion saying once the statute is reversed many lives will be saved. On their part chiefs in the region have called upon the commission to consider cultural values before legalizing abortion. “Malawi’s cultural norms do not allow women and girls to access abortion.” said Senior Chief Nkumbira of Nkhatabay District.
In his remarks, Commissioner Dr Ann Phoya, said the commission embarked on consultations meeting in the country in order to collect people’s views on abortion before drafting the laws. “Let me assured people that the commission will take into consideration their views on different perspective”
The commission has so far conducted similar meetings in several districts including Mangochi which is highly dominated by Muslims.