The Catholic Bishops Conference of Sri Lanka yesterday overwhelmingly condemned the government’s decision to legalize abortion.
Catholic Bishops Conference President Rt. Rev. Dr. J. Winston S. Fernando in a letter said the matter was discussed indepth during a plenary meeting held recently.
“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,” he said and underscored the fact that no one had the right to tamper with human life in any way.
Catholic Bishops Conference General Secretary Rt. Rev. Dr. D. Valence Mendis said one could not safeguard one’s rights at the expense of violating the rights of another.
Contradicting the opinion expressed by the Catholic Bishops, a former Human Rights Commissioner, Prathiba Mahanamahewa said a human being is endowed with rights from birth according to the United Nations' 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
"Hundreds of illegal abortions are taking place in the country," he said.
A study carried out in 2016 by Colombo University students and volunteers from other organizations and monitored by academics including Dr. Mahanamahewa has found that most number of cases of illegal abortions have been reported from Katunayake, Ja-ela, Jaffna, Ratnapura, Colombo and Rajagiriya.
“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,” he said.
Dr. Mahanamahewa said Sri Lanka must approve the abortion law, but with conditions.
“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.
The second condition he proposed was the abortion under medical circumstances of the mother such as abnormalities of the fetus and risk of having stillbirths and said even on these two grounds, abortion should take place ensuring the mother's privacy though Sri Lanka does not have privacy laws for such situations. (Piyumi Fonseka)
Mahee Sunday, 27 August 2017 02:48 AM
I am fortunate because my country is not governed by a Catholic State! True, we have a rotten lot in our government but they are a down-to-earth rotten lot.
Truth Sunday, 27 August 2017 07:24 PM
Ohh yeah! just travel around the world and see how well our banana republic is regarded outside of Sri Lanka!
Mark Sunday, 27 August 2017 06:39 AM
Tell them to go to hell. Backward and pathetic. A demonstration of how inhumane there stand really is.
AjithZ Sunday, 27 August 2017 05:47 PM
You are wrong. No religion or a religious leader can approve abortion which is terminating a life. Here the catholic church expressed their opinion whereas others not.
Roshan Sunday, 27 August 2017 09:24 AM
What Catholic Bishop say is utter bull shit. Then who take care of poor teenage girls who exposed to sexual tragedy? In certain cases abortions have to be performed on medical grounds. I total agree with Mr.Prathiba Mahanama
Independent Monday, 28 August 2017 07:50 AM
Let them live, find alternatives. They suffer a lot when the abortion take place. It's a human life. They have a right to live, they struggle to escape their death when aborting.
ceylon Sunday, 27 August 2017 12:51 PM
Parliament members still don't care and don't know how to make proper laws for welfare of people.they are fighting in parliament for useless politics. via DM Android App
citizen Monday, 28 August 2017 05:50 AM
Taking an innocent life does not help karma of murderers who decide. The lifelong effect on the mother who will always believe that she is a murderer, cant be assessed
Damian Monday, 28 August 2017 10:42 AM
Abortion is MURDER. Period.
dinesh Monday, 28 August 2017 03:59 PM
finally living in the 21st centruy, just because you dont want it to happen it happens....if kids specailly girls are educated at least they can make choices about safe S..x, instead of getting pregnant unnecessarily.
Julie Tuesday, 03 October 2017 10:53 AM
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