Catholic Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa of Malawi urged the nation’s political leaders to continue protecting unborn babies’ lives during a November conference in the capital of Lilongwe.
Many African nations are facing intense global pressure to legalize the killing of unborn babies. Malawi lawmakers currently are considering a bill to allow abortions in cases of rape, fetal anomalies and threats to the mother’s physical or mental health, despite strong opposition by their own citizens.
Crux reports Msusa, speaking at the World Congress of Families two weeks ago, said the country must continue protecting both mother and child.
“We believe that life begins at conception; sacredness and sanctity of human life; both the mother and unborn child have the right to life and that all instances of direct abortions are a violation of the rights of the unborn because it is a willful killing of innocent life,” the archbishop said.
Msusa continued: “We note in particular that there are some worrisome trends in our democratization and emancipation that push for a worldview independent of and side-lining God, and making human beings dependent on their own intellect, determining for themselves what is right and what is wrong. We are saddened to read that religion should not regulate morals.”
The theme of the conference was “The African Family and Cultural Colonization.”
Last December, thousands of Malawi residents marched in protest of abortion across the country after news broke about the legislation. The march demonstrated how strong the public opposition to abortion is in Malawi.
Msusa suggested that lawmakers allow voters to decide by referendum whether to legalize abortion, according to the report.
“A media-heavy campaign has been waged to promote the view that there are many deaths due to illegal abortions and the only way to prevent women dying is to liberalize the abortion law,” said Joseph Meaney, the Director of International Outreach and Expansion of Human Life International.
Malawi, located in southeast Africa and landlocked, has a population of 18 million with a per capita GDP of only $330.
He told Crux Malawi has likely been targeted by foreign government funding agencies and some international NGOs to change its abortion law in part due to its extreme poverty and high birth rate.
Pro-life activists have accused the government of being disingenuous in its promotion of the legislation.
The Malawi penal code prohibits abortions except when the life of the mother is threatened.
In December 2016, government leaders said they were not considering a bill to legalize abortion; but a few months later, they presented a pro-abortion bill to parliament, according to Crux.
Abortion activists claim that the legalization of abortion will keep women from seeking dangerous back-alley and do-it-yourself abortions. However, reports indicate that it is abortion activists themselves who are providing women with these unsafe, illegal abortions.
The southeast African nation has been a constant target of international abortion activists and population control groups.
In 2014, Human Life International’s Emil Hagamu explained more about the situation:
For years the Malawi government, as with many African governments, has been told by Western allies to reduce their population. The way to do this is by promoting contraceptives and abortion rights. Unfortunately, the more people adopt this anti-life mindset, the more they share in the problems of the West, including infertility, which is increasing among many reproductive age women. …
Sex “education” is in place in all schools of Malawi, and through it young women are encouraged to abandon motherhood in order to hold positions of political or economic power. Though Malawi restricts abortion, there is a strong campaign to legalize abortion as a medically viable treatment with strong funding by pro-abortion lobbies.