Friday, January 18, 2008

ACDP condemns Termination of Pregnancy Bill

By Anele Siwa
18 January 2008

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) has expressed its disappointment at the passing of the contentious Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill during a special sitting of Parliament on Thursday.

“This will leave women and children increasingly vulnerable,” says Cheryllyn Dudley, ACDP Member of Parliament

According to Dudley, the party proposed amendments to the bill which included mandatory counselling to make sure mothers will be well informed about the danger and the alternatives available.

The Bill was initially passed by the Houses of Parliament, the National Assembly and the NCOP in 2004.

According to the report, in August 2006, the Bill was struck down by the Constitutional Court after an application by Doctors for Life International which argued that Parliament had failed to perform its constitutional obligation to make possible public involvement when it passed the Bill. On 20th June 2007 Parliament reintroduced the Bill to the NCOP as the first house.

“This bill affords women a choice on termination of pregnancy,” says James Ngculu, Director of Portfolio Committee on Health.

Ngculu says the bill also provide legal mechanism for women to terminate pregnancy.

“It also ensures that there’s a particular system that they engage in, in terms of the termination of pregnancy to avoid the incomplete abortion(s) that have been taking place over many years,” he added.


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