The Adhaalath Party has issued a statement calling on the state to implement Islamic Sharia and execute mothers who abort their children.
The Adhaalath Party is in coalition with the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), and is led by its newly-elected President Sheikh Imran Abdulla.
‘’The penalty for taking the life of another without any purpose is death [according to Islamic Sharia],’’ said the party in its statement.
The party claimed abortion was an issue that should concern all Maldivians, who should be “very afraid” given the “rising popularity of fornication.”
The party added that an Adhaalath delegation had met with senior officials of the Health Ministry to try and find a permanent solution for illegal prostitution conducted inside massage parlours and medical centres.
‘’The health ministry officials noted that powerful figures were running these businesses and that the ministry faced many challenges in combating the issue,’’ said the Adhaalath Party. ‘’The ministry said it has been working continuously to tackle prostitution and feels it needs cooperation from the Adhaalath Party and other concerned institutions.’’
The Adhaalath Party also said the ministry told them it had met with concerned authorities last year to draft regulation governing massage parlours, but was unable to conclude the work for various reasons.
‘’All staff working in these places, other than ‘practitioners’, are not employed with the authorisation of the ministry,’’ Adhaalath said. ‘’Sinful activities are conducted the those unauthorised employees in these places.’’
The party said the health ministry has expressed great concern that there was the chance of spreading diseases such as HIV and AIDS through prostitution.
Abortion is illegal in the Maldives except to save a mother’s life, or if a child suffers from a congenital defect such as thalassemia. Several studies on HIV in the Maldives have identified risk factors including high levels of promiscuity and little use of contraception, and anecdotal evidence points overwhelmingly to a high rate of abortion.
In an article on the subject in 2009, Minivan News reported that many women unable to travel to Sri Lanka resort to illegal abortions performed by unskilled individuals in unhygienic settings.
Abortion-inducing pills and injections administered by amateur abortionists are one recourse while others turn to harmful vaginal preparations, containing chemicals such as bleach or kerosene. Although infrequent, some insert objects into their uterus or induce abdominal trauma, such is the stigma of having a child out of wedlock.