The proposed Termination of Pregnancy Bill debate in Malawi: a re-reading of mark 5:25-34.
Chisa, William Precious.
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This paper has three main focus points using the Tripolar method of biblical hermeneutics as a frame. Firstly, it analyses the context of the proposed termination of pregnancy bill in Malawi. This has involved a presentation of arguments in response to this bill from political, medical and religious spheres. This paper has identified flaws in the law-based approach to termination of pregnancy and has argued for public healthcare and reproductive justice as alternative approaches. Religious responses towards termination of pregnancy – which are based on biblical texts – have been critiqued using African feminist biblical hermeneutics, the theoretical framework of this paper. Secondly, this paper has focuses on the biblical text of Mark 5:25-34. In this regard, it discusses feminist readings of this text. The character of the woman in this text has been used as a source for encouragement for women struggling for voices and choices on matters concerning termination of pregnancy in Malawi. The woman in this text has been identifies in terms of her actions (initiative) and not her condition in this case. Mark 5:25-34 has been analysed literary using the narrative elements that this text presents. Thirdly, this paper suggests ideo-theological resources for engaging with the termination of pregnancy discourse in Malawi. It identifies African feminist biblical hermeneutics and narrative method as ideo-theological resources for this context. Contextual Bible Study and a rap song have been suggested as further resources of appropriation for empowerment, liberation and education through the biblical text of Mark 5:25-34. Overall, the arguments made in this paper are geared towards helping women to have a voice in the termination of pregnancy discourse in Malawi.