According to a recent study, majority of the people are in favour of legalizing abortion in the event of rape, incest and severe fetal abnormalities, Director of the Mental Health Unit, Dr. Chithramalee de Silva said.
Deputy Director of Maternal and Child Health and Director of the Mental Health Unit of the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Dr. Chithramalee de Silva highlighted that although the revision of the law governing abortion needed reconsideration as the matter had not been discussed at any forum since 2015 January. She added that the time had come for the case for abortion to be pushed forward again, and called for a high level meeting involving the Director General of Health Services, the Secretary to the Ministry, and the relevant Ministry – the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs – to be convened.
There has been no recent data that has been put out concerning abortion in Sri Lanka since the last study was done in 1996, she mentioned.
“What we want to highlight is the burden on the mental health of women. Right now the law only allows for abortion in the case the mother’s life is in danger and needs saving. For some reason, the governing politicians rejected the case to allow abortion for rape, incest and fetal abnormalities, when a case was made for it earlier. We need to look at revising the law. The College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists too has to play a role in this,” Dr. de Silva observed.