Close

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

Bill offers a lifeline to teens, childless couples

It extensively covers surrogacy and safe motherhood.

In Summary
  • There are no laws, currently, governing surrogacy and the process is tedious and frustrating for childless parents.

  • The high numbers of teen pregnancies are an indication that religious leaders and parents have to deal with new realities.

A photo of the creche where nursing MPs take care of their babies.
A photo of the creche where nursing MPs take care of their babies.
Image: COURTESY

Catholic bishops yesterday called for the rejection, in its entirety, of the Reproductive Healthcare Bill, 2019. They argued it legalises abortion.

The bill, labelled the ‘abortion bill’ in some quarters, makes the same provision for termination of pregnancies that the Constitution does—where the mother’s life is in danger.

It further offers the option to terminate where "there is need for emergency treatment" and where “there exists a substantial risk that the foetus would suffer from a severe physical or mental abnormality incompatible with life outside the womb”. 

 
 

The bill states that where, in these life-threatening circumstances a medical practitioner still has a conscientious objection to terminate, he or she can refer the mother to another health professional. That is not legalising abortion.

Termination of pregnancy is just one of the issues in the bill. It extensively covers surrogacy and safe motherhood.

There are no laws, currently, governing surrogacy and the process is tedious and frustrating for childless parents.

The high numbers of teen pregnancies are an indication that religious leaders and parents have to deal with new realities. So why not try a new option to give girls a great future? 

Throwing the Bill out in its entirety would be a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

These are matters that need a sober and objective debate, not blanket condemnation by simply waving the Bible.

Quote of the Day: “All that counts in life is intention.”

Andrea Bocelli

The Italian opera singer was born on September 22, 1958