Malawi lawmakers loudly rejected a bill to legalize the killing of unborn babies in abortions in their country, shouting “no” Thursday in Parliament when the pro-abortion measure came up for consideration.
All Africa reports the MPs overwhelmingly voted to block debate and table the Termination of Pregnancy bill, which has been introduced every year since 2016.
Malawi, located in southeastern Africa, protects unborn babies’ right to life. The law allows abortions only when the mother’s life is at risk.
The bill, sponsored by MP Mathews Ngwale, would legalize abortions when there are risks to the mother’s physical or mental health, or when she is a victim of rape or incest, according to Reuters.
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On Thursday, when MP Werani Chilenga made a motion to debate the bill, other lawmakers quickly rejected it, according to the Nyasa Times.
The report continues:
… when First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Madaliso Kazombo had put the question to the House, almost all MPs shouted “No” and the Deputy Speaker said “The Noes have it”. Motion was rejected from being presented.
Mwanza Central legislator Nicholas Dausi said bill should not be allowed in the august House because it stands against the values of the society.
Religious leaders throughout the country are encouraging lawmakers to remain strong and uphold the country’s protections for babies in the womb. The General Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, Evangelical Association of Malawi, Public Affairs Committee and Muslim Association of Malawi are among those advocating for the unborn, according to the report.
Malawi and other pro-life countries are facing intense international pressure to legalize abortion, backed by some of the richest men in the world. In 2017, Canada and many European countries created a pro-abortion advocacy group called She Decides, funded by hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, for this purpose.
Abortion activists with She Decides Malawi were outside Parliament on Thursday urging lawmakers to pass the pro-abortion bill, according to the Times. Chimwemwe Mlombwa, an abortion activist with the group, claimed the bill would be life-saving because women are dying “every single day” in unsafe abortions.
But pro-life advocates said pro-abortion groups are not spending money on basic medical care, including maternal care, which actually saves women’s lives; they are spending it on promoting abortions.
Obianuju Ekeocha, president of Culture of Life Africa, criticized She Decides for ignoring Africans’ true needs.
“Many countries in the West, including Canada and the Netherlands have decided to come together to raise funds,” she said in 2017. “Not funds for food in Africa. Not funds for water in Africa. Not funds that the Africans can use as they want. Instead, they are gathering together to raise millions of dollars that they are dedicating to the so called safe abortion. What is actually most disheartening is that these western countries have not even thought of asking the Africans what they want!”
Abortion advocacy groups often bring up frightening estimates about millions of unsafe abortions across the world each year – neglecting to mention that they are the ones providing many of these abortions.
Legalizing abortions does not protect women from unsafe abortions. In the United States, for example, statistics and other research indicate that modern medical advances — not legalized abortions – were what really improved women’s health and led to a drop in maternal deaths.
Significantly, evidence from pro-life countries also counteracts claims about women dying from unsafe abortions. In a 2018 piece at The Atlantic, a Santa Clara University law professor said she was surprised when she began doing research on abortion in El Salvador. Abortions are illegal there, and she said she expected to find hospitals full of women dying from botched abortions, but she did not. According to Oberman’s research, better access to basic medical care is a key factor in the drop in maternal abortion deaths.
Prominent pro-abortion researchers also admit that pro-life laws do prevent abortions and save lives.