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Clergy divided on America’s abortion move

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While some local religious leaders have rushed to rally behind America’s recent move to reinstate the Mexico City Policy, others have warned that there is need to exercise caution.

Also described as the Global gag rule, instituted in 1984, the rule restricts funding to foreign health groups that perform or provide any information on abortion.

General Secretary for the Livingstonia Synod in the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP), Levi Nyondo, in an interview over the weekend described as courageous the signing of the executive order by America’s new President Donald Trump.

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Despite growing criticism from health and rights activists, Nyondo said this will go a long way in ensuring that Malawians start to respect and embrace the sanctity of life.

“America has been exonerated because all along it has been blamed for moral decay happening across the globe, this is a good development which pleases us as the church,” said Nyondo.

But General Secretary of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) Father Henry Saindi says it’s too early to celebrate Trump’s decision.

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He said with advice from Pope Francis XVI, the Catholic Church will remain patient and observe if his [Trump] other government’s policies are guided by ethical values.

“We do not want to be overtaken by emotions, we would like to see how Trump’s administration responds to real life challenges like taking care of the homeless who flee to his country and the poor which are the church’s major concerns,” Saindi explained.

Adding: “On this particular order, yes, it’s commendable, however, our stand is that of wait and see. We don’t want to rush and judge the new administration based on just this one event.”

ECM is one of the influential religious institutions in the country that has in recent years spearheaded campaigns against amendment of the law to support safe abortion, and was also among the major organisers of the pro-life mass protests in October last year.

Contrary to ECM, Sheikh Dinala Chabulika of the Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) yesterday corroborated Nyondo’s sentiments.

He said the order stands to flush out a big chunk of organisations out of Africa, particularly Malawi who solely survived on promoting issues of abortion which he said challenge religious tenets.

Saying: “People will have to start taking responsibility over their action. No pregnancy is unwanted to warrant its termination which is tantamount to killing because every adult knows that unprotected sex does lead to conception.”

He then stressed that Islam only nods to abortions which have been medically approved that they put the life of the woman in danger.

Statistics indicate that 17 percent of maternal mortality in Malawi is attributable to unsafe abortions, with about K300 million committed to Post-Abortal Care expenses annually.

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