In Malawi, the Fight for Unborn Children Unites Christians, Muslims, and Other Religious Groups

Innat Edison, 15, stands inside her mother's cramped, dingy house in Chiringani village, southwestern Malawi, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2006, nursing her 2 month old baby Crispin. Her former fiance refuses to acknowledge their child as his own. In isolated villages and crumbling cities across the most destitute continent, girls younger than 14 are finding boyfriends and getting married in a bid to escape the empty bellies, numbing work and overwhelming tedium of poverty.  (AP Photo/Obed Zilwa)
Innat Edison, 15, stands inside her mother’s cramped, dingy house in Chiringani village, southwestern Malawi, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2006, nursing her 2 month old baby Crispin. Her former fiance refuses to acknowledge their child as his own. In isolated villages and crumbling cities across the most destitute continent, girls younger than 14 are finding boyfriends and getting married in a bid to escape the empty bellies, numbing work and overwhelming tedium of poverty. (AP Photo/Obed Zilwa)

Thousands of protesters across religious groups in Malawi took to the streets this week in solidarity against a proposed easing of the country’s abortion regulations.

The Catholic Episcopal Conference of Malawi and Evangelical Association of Malawi organized the protests after learning the government planned to debate a Termination of Pregnancy Bill. The legislation seeks to legalize abortion in cases where women face sexual assaults or when the unborn child has a severe disability. Malawi’s current abortion law only allows mothers whose lives are endangered to undergo abortion.

In Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital, more than 20,000 Christians, Muslims, and members of the Rastafarian sect marched to the parliament holding signs, including one that read, “A nation that kills its children is a nation without hope.” Protesters also gathered in three other main cities across the country.

“We cannot install a culture of death in our country,” protester Tarciciu Mbewe told Malawi’s Nyasa Times.

Malison Ndau, Malawi’s minister of information and communications, said the bill is not up for debate in Parliament. He said a commissionreviewed the existing law and only made recommendations to the government.

“It is the prerogative of the Cabinet to adopt or reject any recommendations originating from the Law Commission,” Ndau said in a statement.

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SOURCE: WORLD Magazine
Onize Ohikere