Catholic Bishops of Sri Lanka against pro-abortion law
by Melani Manel Perera
The government proposes abortion "only" for unwanted pregnancies. The Bishops' Conference "categorically" and "firmly" opposes any attempt to "legalize murder, in all its forms."
Colombo (AsiaNews) - The Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka (Cbcsl) is "firmly" opposed to the proposed abortion law. "The human race - the statement of the Catholic bishops - is not safe if the child is not protected in the womb." The government emphasizes that the bill will only cover “unjustifiable pregnancy ", but promised to consider "alternatives" offered by religious groups opposed to abortion.
However, the Cbcsl declares: "We categorically reject any attempt to legalize abortion, a synonym for murder. Therefore, we ask the government not to proceed with this law, since murder, in all its forms, is an abominable crime. "
"The Bible - the bishops continued - teaches that all human beings are made in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:27). The Church has always affirmed that God is the author of life, the supreme and sacred gift He has given us. Our biggest obligation is to protect human life from conception to natural death. "
Responding to criticism of the Church, Tissa Karaliyadda, Minister for Development of the child and the woman, said the bill is for "those girls and women victims of unwanted pregnancies, the result of the violence of men."
"Blessed John Paul II - the Cbcsl has stressed - teaches that the Church should be at the service of life, in the midst of a culture of death of our days."
Although abortion is illegal in the country in recent years the Sri Lanka Family Health Bureau (a body set up by the Ministry of Health, ed) recorded an increase of cases: in 2008 there were about 700 cases a day, 250 thousand for the year in 2011 rose by a thousand, for a total of 300 thousand abortions a year.
The same figures from the Ministry of Health – which appear purposely inflated- even speak of 500 abortions a day in Colombo, the capital of the state. The total population of the island is about 20 million.
Even the Buddhists (the majority of Sri Lankans) have sided against the proposal to legalize abortion.