HomeNews‘Repeal laws on abortion, freedom of conscience’

‘Repeal laws on abortion, freedom of conscience’

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THE Concerned Christian Leaders and Citizens Network (CCLCN), an organisation of Christian leaders and individuals, has called for the repeal of sections of the new Constitution on abortion and freedom of conscience, which they argued legalised social ills.

BY STAFF REPORTER

In a 62-page dossier, Christian leaders said some of the provisions in the new charter threatened the country’s national interest and identity.

A handwritten anti-abortion poster. File picture
A handwritten anti-abortion poster. File picture

“The need and justification for a comprehensive amendment of Zimbabwe’s newly-enacted and adopted Constitution is both overwhelming and urgent,” read the dossier.

CCLCN said there was need to protect the rights of unborn children through ensuring that the law should not allow abortion unless the life of the mother was endangered; the child may suffer a defect that affects the quality of life; and when the foetus resulted from rape.

The Constitution currently only guarantees the right to life and leaves Parliament to make a discretion to craft a law meant to protect the rights of unborn children.

The network said they wanted the right to freedom of conscience not to be overstretched so that it accommodated practices inconsistent with what was in the best interest of Zimbabwe, including Satanism.

The right to express oneself covers literally everything except to the extent specifically excluded. In most democratic countries, pornography is legal, subject to some restrictions which differ from country to country.

“In countries like the United States of America, pornography is regarded as a form of artistic expression and free speech, and in the Constitution, this freedom is expressly protected under the free speech provisions (Section 61(1)(a) and (b),” read the dossier.

The network was also concerned that Section 61 was too open-ended and broad in its ambit as to cover anything that came to mind falling under the definition of expression.

“The limitation clause is section 61(5) dealing with incitement to violence, hate speech, malicious injury to a person’s dignity or reputation, and malicious or unwarranted breach of a person’s right to privacy. It does not exclude or cover issues of morality. Resort must thus be had to the general section 86(2) limitation clause of all the provisions of the Bill of Rights which shall be addressed separately,” CCLCN said.

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