Stigma derailing safe abortion –Nyale Institute – Capital Radio Malawi
29 May, 2024

Stigma derailing safe abortion –Nyale Institute

Kangaude: There is so much stigma from society

A lack of awareness on safe pregnancy termination is cited as the main factor fuelling stigma and discrimination among young women and girls from access the service.

This was highlighted during a media workshop on sexual and reproductive health governance in Blantyre organised by Nyale Institute, a local NGO.

Nyale Institute executive director Godfrey Kangaude stresses the need for positive messaging on safe abortion.

He said; “Access to safe abortion remains a huge challenge for women and young girls, mainly because there is so much stigma from society. When safe abortion services are unavailable for the young people, then there is possibility of so many rising challenges.”

On his part, head of language and communication studies department at the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), Marion Chirwa Kajombo, suggests responsible and positive reporting on safe abortion

“It is important for writers to look at all angles of stories to avoid misleading readers who may otherwise have a negative perception on the matter,” Chirwa Kajombo said.

Section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi says women have the right to full and equal protection by the law, and have the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of their gender or marital status.

In 2021, the High Court reiterated the statutory protections for legal abortion under narrow circumstances where Section 243 of the Penal Code makes exception that abortion, or legal termination of pregnancy, can only be done when the life and health of a woman or girl is in danger.

However, Kangaude stresses that safe and legal abortion should not be limited to women who are under dire circumstances.

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