The medical community informed that it was Minister of Health, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne’s responsibility to take up the issue of relaxing laws on abortion to allow for abortions in cases of incest, rape and lethal congenital abnormalities, to and with the law and policy makers.
The Sri Lanka College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists observed that when dealing with a lot of patients that come in facing such situations, there was no help that doctors could offer owing to the laws in place.
Member of the College, Dr. Mangala Dissanayake said that while the College had agreed to and was willing to go ahead in supporting the relaxation of the laws, encouragement was needed from the Ministry of Health in order to proceed.
The College has handed over a legal draft paper in this regard to the relevant authorities, he added.
In the case of lethal congenital abnormalities, there are radiologists, pediatricians and neonatologists involved in the decision making process of deciding that the fetus cannot survive outside the womb, he noted, adding that this was not the decision of an individual but of a collective.
“With the Ministry of Health we are also looking at post-abortion care. Nothing materialized from the draft prepared by a gender sub-committee appointed by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs previously,” he said.