Abortion law has failed in Malawi – Expert

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Malawi’s law on abortion has been said to have failed following high reports of cases of complications and deaths that come due to unsafe, clandestine procedures when terminating pregnancy.

According to a study by Guttmacher Institute and the Centre of Reproductive Health at the University of Malawi (UNIMA), abortion cases have doubled from 2009 to 2015.

The study disclosed that in 2009 the country registered 67,000 of abortion while in 2015 the cases were 141,000.

The findings further disclosed that within Malawi, abortion rates vary widely by region from 29 per 1000 women in the central region to 61 in the northern region.

Abortion laws under debate in Malawi. credit:politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org)

Speaking in an interview with Malawi24 on Thursday, one of the researchers from College of Medicine a constituent college of UNIMA Doctor Chisale Mhango (Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology) said Malawi law has failed to protect women on abortion.

“The problem is that our laws are not working, we have an abortion law in this country that is supposed to protect women from unsafe abortion by punishing severely those that perform abortion and we just found that the law is not working people are still procuring unsafe abortion in the country,” said Mhango.

He added that the country’s law on abortion needs to be reformed to reverse the trend of abortions with clandestine procedures.

Mhango has since urged the country to change the current law arguing that it fuels unsafe abortion that represents a significant financial burden for the national health system in Malawi when treating complications.

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