Church in Sri Lanka Opposes Legalizing Abortion

Published 29 August 2017  |  

Christians in Sri Lanka on Aug. 25 condemned the government's decision to legalize abortion.

A Christian body, Catholic Bishops Conference (CBC), overwhelmingly criticized the change in abortion law, according to Daily Mirror.

Rev. Dr J. Winston S. Fernando, President of CBC, in a recently held meeting, emphasized the fact that no one had the right to meddle with human life in any way.

"We say no to abortion under any circumstances. We believe that the precious life of a human being starts at the very moment of conception and is sacred," said Fernando.

Rev. Dr D. Valence Mendis, General Secretary, CBC, too opposed the view of the government and stated that one could not secure one's rights at the expense of infringing the rights of another.

However, Human Rights Commissioner, Prathiba Mahanamahewa voiced against the Christian body's opinion by bringing to light a recent study on illegal abortions that were found to be alarmingly increasing in the country.

"All these abortions are performed on teenage mothers, some of whom are students. The well-to-do can go to Singapore and get the abortion done. What will happen to the poor people? They will eventually be victims of illegal abortion resulting in trauma and mental agony and health risks," said Mahanamahewa.

He strongly stated that Sri Lanka must approve the abortion law, but with exceptions.

"In cases of an impregnated rape victim, if she doesn't have protection, she can decide to terminate the pregnancy within three months of conception. In western countries, there are proper institutions to look after such victims. In Sri Lanka, we don't have any," he said.

Cases of abnormalities of the fetus and risk of having stillbirths can also be considered under the abortion law, Mahanamahewa added.


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