Tuesday, February 21, 2017

SRI LANKA : As the government comes out in favour of abortion, Bishops' conference calls on Catholic believers and politicians to oppose it

[Catholic Bishops Conference of Sri Lanka]The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka (CBCSL) issued a statement calling on all Catholics, including Catholic political leaders, to oppose the government’s decision to legalise abortion. 

The CBCSL issued a similar statement last year.
This comes after news reports appeared in recent months about government plans to ease restrictions in the penal code on procuring abortions.

"Having heard about government moves in July and August 2016, the CBCSL sent a letter to the Justice Ministry on 18 August 2016 expressing our opposition,” the CBCSL statement said.

The Ministry replied in a letter dated 22 August, saying that "such a measure has not yet been contemplated,” and that “it is not an issue the government is concerned with or wishes to act upon as an urgency or something of relevance.”

In view of this, the bishops say they were surprised upon learning through the media (The Daily Mirror, 20 January 2017) that the same Ministry was planning to legalise abortion under certain circumstances.

Hence, the Bishops' Conference urges the faithful to "pray to atone for this plan to allow – even in cases of rape or incest – the termination of the innocent life of someone who is unable to defend himself whilst in the womb. God is the sole author of life and only he can decide to end it."

The CBCSL statement ends quoting from Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Letitiae published last year.

"It is important for that child to feel wanted. He or she is not an accessory or a solution to some personal need. A child is a human being of immense worth and many never be used for one's own benefit. So it matters little whether this new life is convenient for you, whether it has features that pleases you. . . We love our children because they are children, not because they are beautiful or look, or think as we do or embody our dreams. We love them because they are children. A child is a child.”

According to Chithramali de Silva, director of Mental Health Unit at the Health Ministry, 400,000 Sri Lanka women become pregnant every year. About 15,000 resort to illegal abortions, and ten die.  

A report by the Health Ministry released last year says that 658 abortions are performed every day.

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