Goal: The goal of the project is to amplify the national youth voice calling for an expedited process to have the draft bill on abortion debated and passed by parliament through a sustained strong youth movements at grassroots, regional and national levels by speaking directly to the chain of policy makers.
- To consolidate the youth voice in Malawi in calling for an expedited legal reform process on comprehensive abortion care.
- To mobilize and engage policy makers to support the law reform on safe abortion
Background on abortion in Malawi
The current legal regime on abortion restricts abortion to when the life of the woman is in danger. This has been proved to main driver of unsafe abortion in Malawi.
The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that unsafe abortion remains the highest cause of maternal mortality with around 47,000 deaths out of 358,000 global deaths related to pregnancy, per annum.
In Malawi, a survey by the Ministry of Health shows that over 70,000 women do abortion in a year the majority of whom are young women of between 15 and 35 years of age. An average of 24 abortions occurs for every 1000 women of this age bracket. Surveys project that around 31,000 maternal deaths per annum are attributed to unsafe abortions.
Currently the Malawi Law Commission is in its final stages of drafting the abortion laws. While youth mobilization, awareness and advocacy carried out over the years, continuous engagement with the youth is more important at this stage of the process as the bill on abortion is about to be debated in parliament.
Regional meetings assembled government district youth officers and student union leaders to an interface meeting with the COPUA youth taskforce to brief them on the ongoing legal reform on abortion and garner for their support as the law is about to be taken parliament.
In each of the regional meetings, there were 3 facilitators who made presentations on legal and health perspectives. The other presentation gave out an overview of COPUA’s Youth Task Force.