Malawi Muslim Council Endorses Abortion Bill

8 December 2020

A group of Sheikh's leaders from different Muslim organisations in the country which are under the Qadriyyah Muslim Association of Malawi (QMAM) through Qadriyyah Ulama Council in Malawi (QUCM) has come out to openly support the controversial proposed Termination of Pregnancy Bill.

The grouping officials on Monday came out in the open to support the bill which has been sharply criticised by some Christians and Muslims.

Addressing the media at Anne's Lodge in Zomba, the Islamic organisation stressed that its support for the bill is based on the religion's teachings and laws.

Flanked by members of the Dawa Association of Malawi and the Islamic Commission for Justice and Freedom, the grouping explains that its stance does not mean a blanket acceptance for abortion.

It cited probable physical or mental injury to the pregnant woman, serious malformation of the foetus, pregnancy resulting from rape and incest as well as likelihood of loss of life for the woman as reasonable instances to proceed with pregnancy termination.

In an interview with Nyasa Times QMUCM Vice Chairperson Omar Jimu Sulaimana said: "After going through the document which the Law Commission prepared and submitted to the Parliament we've realised that the Commission agreed that despite arbotion being illegal in the country, there should be other exceptional instances where it can be performed."

Sulaimana continued:"For example the document says a woman can terminate the pregnancy due to some conditions like when the continued Pregnancy will endanger the life of the pregnant women, where the termination is necessary to prevent injury to the physical or mental health of pregnant woman, when there is a severe malformation of the foetus which will affect it's viable or compatibility with life and if the pregnancy is a result of rape, incest as well as defilement which is also available in the books of Islamic jurisprudence where it justifies the permission to terminate the pregnancy based on valid health and medical justifications,".

In her remarks executive member of Muslim Women Organisation in Malawi Khadijah Mdala-Mwawa added that there is a need for Malawi to pass the arbotion bill and that Muslim leaders will stand up and fight for the bill which she said will help to protect lives of young women and girls.

"As Muslims we are in support of this bill and we promise to take part in pushing our legislators to make this bill as a law because it will play a bigger role by reducing unnecessary deaths, disabilities among women just to mention a few.

" But It should also be noted that while Islam permits preventing pregnancy for valid reasons, it does not allow violating the pregnancy once it occurs unnecessarily. Muslim jurists agree unanimously that after the foetus is completely formed and has been given a soul, arboting it is haram," Mdala-Mwawa.

Coalition to the Prevention of Unsafe Abortion board member Winnie Botha urged those opposing the proposed Bill to read and understand it so that they disseminate correct information to the masses.

She said: "Whether they support it or not, abortions are happening. Less privileged women and girls are forced to procure unsafe abortions because they cannot receive the assistance they need in public hospitals. Many lives are being lost in the process.

Members of parliament are expected to debate the bill during the next meeting of parliament due in February.

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