Reforming Malawi’s Law on Abortion: A Criminal Law Perspective

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Lewis Chezan Bande


The article examines Malawi's law on abortion against certain key principles and values of criminal law. In the final analysis, it finds that the current state of the law has failed to achieve its avowed policies of protecting women from the dangers of unsafe abortion, and to protect unborn children from unjustifiable destruction. It also finds that the law offends key criminal law principles and values, including the principle of maximum certainty, principle of minimum criminalization, the equality principle and the principle of legal moralism. The article calls for the reform of the law. However, it further argues that the reform of the law on abortion is not a silver bullet against the scourge of unsafe abortion in Malawi. To achieve meaningful change, legal reforms must be accompanied by the provision of safe, affordable and easily accessible abortions services throughout the country.

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Author Biography

Lewis Chezan Bande, University of Malawi

Lecturer in law, University of Malawi, doctoral candidate, KU Leuven.