July 20, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government is taking measures to legalize "limited abortions" under special circumstances, the Ministry of Child Development and Women's Affairs says.
The Ministry has said that a consultative committee is now working on the mechanism to legalize "limited abortion" in Sri Lanka as a way of addressing issues faced by women who have been victimized by rape and other similar problems.
The recommendations of the committee will be presented to Parliament to formulate new laws on the issue, Child Development and Women's Affairs Minister Tissa Karalliyadde has said adding that the Ministry is planning to expedite the measure.
Abortion is officially illegal in Sri Lanka and only allowed when the pregnancy or child birth is life threatening to the mother. However illegal abortions are performed in large numbers by untrained people under unhygienic conditions at many places that do not meet standards which should be followed when conducting such operations, the authorities point out.
Although no official figures are available it is estimated that around 1,000 cases of illegal abortions are taking place in a day in Sri Lanka.