Opposition By Church Delays Change In Abortion Laws In Sri Lanka: Ministry
The opposition posed by Sri Lankan Catholic Church has delayed amendment to the abortion laws in the country, an official said on Tuesday.
Sumithra Rahubadda, Secretary to the Ministry of Child Development and Women's Affairs told Xinhua amidst rapid increase of illegal abortions and incidents of rapes, the bill has been prepared to change country's penal code to ease the laws relating to abortions.
"However opposition by the leaders of the country's 7 percent Christians has become a problem," she said.
Abortion is illegal in Sri Lanka and only allowed when the pregnancy or child birth is life threatening to the mothers. However it is estimated that around 1,000 illegal abortions are taking place in a day in Sri Lanka in illegal abortion clinics run by untrained people under unhygienic conditions.
"With the amendments to the country's Penal Code abortion would be allowed under strict conditions," Rahubadda said. Change in the law is to allow abortion in the cases of underage rape and for underage victims of incest.
Rahubadda said there is rapid increase in incident of underage girls being raped. "Mothers going to Middle Eastern country for jobs leaving their young daughters behind and large number of widows after years of war have worsened this situation," she said.
The bill prepared by the Child Development and Women's Affairs Ministry and the Justice Ministry has been sent to the Attorney General to get the green light. The ministry is determined to go on with the amendments and stated that the law will soon be presented to the parliament.