Bill to allow aborting foetus on two counts

Dr. Kapila Jayaratne

A Bill will be brought to Parliament to allow termination of pregnancy for two specific reasons.

These are, when the mother carries a foetus with Lethal Congenital Malformation and when a woman becomes a rape victim, Consultant Community Physician Dr. Kapila Jayaratne said.

Addressing a press conference held at the Health Education Bureau in Colombo yesterday he said Cabinet approval has been received for this proposal.

Once the law is enacted, mothers will have the opportunity to decide whether to abort the foetus or go ahead with the pregnancy.It will be up to the mother.

But the recommendation will be made by two consultants and it will be done only at a state hospital.

Dr. Jayaratne said doctors can detect a baby with Lethal Congenital Malformation by the 20th week into pregnancy. Mothers undergo hardships with a foetus with birth defects and face a still birth or end up with life long suffering with a child not having basic organs to live.The suffering of the mother and her baby can be prevented, Dr Jayaratne said.

Consultant Gynaecologist Dr U.D.P. Rathnasiri said the bill was not passed before due to political, religious, cultural and social pressure.

“But this law is essential to end the suffering of many mothers. All mothers have the right to be free from pain and agony,” Dr Rathnasiri said. 

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