Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) alongside Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) have organized what they are terming ‘citizen march for life and family’, a demonstration against abortion law and homosexuality to be held on 6th December in all districts across the country.
In a document announcing the march and which was read to a group of journalist in Lilongwe on Thursdayand was signed by secretary general for ECM, Fr Henry Saindi and Rev Francis Mkandawire the general secretary for EAM, the two bodies have indicated that the march is going to serve as a reminder to all people and institutions that human life is sacred and also that the dignity of the human being is the foundation of moral vision for society.
Reads the document in part, “From the moment of conception a life is begun that is neither of the father nor of the mother it is rather the life of a new human being with his own growth. It is therefore important that we all safeguard, preserve and protect life with extreme care from conception.
“We also want to remind all people and institutions-the executive, the legislature and judiciary arms of government, private sector, traditional leaders, civil society, political parties, foreign agencies and faith groups- that defending marriage as a unit of man and woman is the responsibility of every citizen of Malawi. And that marriage is the first cell of society as it provides the healthiest environment for raising the next generation of citizens.”
Also present during the press briefing was national secretary for Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) Martin Chiphwanya, vice president for Christian Medical Dentist Fellowship (CMDF) Dr Rodney Kalanda and Rev Zak Kawalala.
In the letter it has been argued that it is not true that if abortion is legalized in the country then maternal mortality deaths are going to be reduced, saying those countries that have legalized abortion haven’t faced any drop in maternal mortality rates while on the other hand maternal mortality has remained under check in the countries where abortion is illegal such as Egypt.
In his remarks Dr Rodney Kalanda emphasized that from medical perspective it is not correct to say that legalization of abortion is going to bring down maternal mortality rate.
He said, “We would like to bring to attention of the public that the notion that we shall see a decrease in maternal mortality rate is misleading. In fact there is no country that has achieved that. What we need to do is increase access to contraceptives, education on maternal health amongst other things. In fact Malawi doesn’t have sufficient infrastructure and top of the range equipment to be able to provide safe abortion even if it were legalized as such we are bound to lives of our women in more danger if we are to legalize abortion.”
Proposed abortion law is expected to be tabled in Parliament this coming seating of Parliament and advocates of the legislation have been arguing that by denying women of the freedom to procure abortion legally, it is costing government more in treatment effects of unsafe abortion complications.