Cabinet approval was granted for the proposal where the right should be given for an abortion with the consent of the mother in instances where a woman has been impregnated due to rape or the child is identified to be suffering from a fatal defect.
The consent of two specialist gynaecologists should be obtained prior to the abortion in such circumstances said Dr. Kapila Jayaratne, Consultant Community Physician and the National Programme Manager for Maternal and Child Morbidity and Mortality Surveillance at Family Health Bureau.
“It is really a right, but those who are unwilling can opt not to do so,” he said.
Only at a government hospital:
This procedure can only be performed at a government hospital.
The panel of specialists had made this proposal taking into consideration the mental trauma a woman has to undergo when she has been raped and the suffering of parents in the event the child suffers from severe disabilities, said Dr. Jayaratne.
The proposal prepared by the Attorney General’s Department having received Cabinet approval will be presented to parliament shortly.
Catholic Bishops’ Conference statement
However, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference vehemently condemned the legalisation of abortion in Sri Lanka under any circumstance.
“The Catholic Church believes that life begins from the moment a mother conceives. This is sacred and no one has the right to destroy it even at the time of conceiving,” the statement noted.
Pope Francis last year, relaxed the rigid policy on abortions so far maintained by the Vatican.
“One cannot violate the rights of another to safeguard the rights of another,” the statement further adds.
However, Pope Francis relaxing the rigid policies maintained by the Vatican so far, granted permission for priests the right to pardon a women who has had an abortion.
According to a survey conducted by the Kelaniya University last year, around 650 illegal abortions are performed in Sri Lanka daily.
While religious leaders and human rights activists have maintained opposing views with regard to abortions, conservative state leaders too have opposed abortion.