Written by YAMIKANI SIMUTOWE
BLANTYRE—The Muslim community and Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) are against the newly passed Gender Equality Bill and have since urged Pres. Joyce Banda not to sign it into law until the issue of abortion is critically scrutinized and elucidated.
There are fears that some sections in the bill give women the right to abortion, which they claim is against the will of God.
The bone of contention is the Section 19(1) of the bill which says “Every person has a right to adequate sexual and reproductive health, which includes the right to: (a) Access sexual and reproductive health services” while Section 19(2) states that “subject to any other written law, every person has the right to choose whether or not to have a child.
MCC spokesperson Mtheto Lungu said Christian churches in the country are against abortion. The Council will critically look at the bill which was passed by Parliament last Wednesday, he said.
The Islamic Information Bureau (IIB), Ulama Council of Malawi and entire Muslim community don't support the bill, according to Sheik Dinala Chabulika, national coordinator of IIB. He said there's was no provision on what happens when a woman conceives accidentally and unwillingly.
Likewise, the Catholic Bishops also spoke against abortion in their pastoral letter issued on Saturday.
(c) The Maravi Post 2013