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Civil Society Organizations Call for Court Determination on Unsafe Abortion
CHRR seeks court decision on unsafe abortion after Parliament failed to discuss TOP Bill, affecting women and girls' health, writes Judgement Katika.
Malawi-Following the failure of Parliament to debate the Termination of Pregnancy (TOP) Bill, the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) is calling for a court determination on the issue of unsafe abortion, which is impacting the right to health for women and girls in the country, writes Judgement Katika.
According to CHRR Executive Director Michael Kaiyatsa, there are many deaths as a result of unsafe abortion, and many women and girls continue to access unsafe abortion in their communities.
He warns that if the situation continues, the country will be left behind in terms of maternal health.
Dr. Godfrey Kangaude of Nyali Institute highlights that sexual and reproductive health issues are impacted by structural and economic factors, which often result in women feeling unable to keep their pregnancies when their partners run away from their responsibilities.
This lack of access to safe abortion services often leads to unsafe abortions.
Kangaude argues that a social and reproductive justice approach is needed, looking at systematic and structural factors rather than just the individual right to access safe abortion services.
He calls for dialogue with the executive, faith leaders, traditional leaders, communities, and the Ministry of Health to map the way forward on the issue of unsafe abortion.
As a country, he says, there is a need to liberalize the legislative framework to allow access to safe abortion services, given the tragic and traumatic situations faced by girls and women using unsafe abortion methods.
The civil society organization has been championing reproductive health rights, particularly focusing on unsafe abortion, by pushing for the termination of pregnancy bill to be tabled in Parliament.