The Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) has told BBC Focus on Africa that it is backing an amendment of the country’s abortion law in Malawi so that a termination can be allowed in certain circumstances.
They include a threat to a woman’s health, a pregnancy resulting from rape, incest or defilement or where there is severe malformation of the foetus.
The MCC, the country’s largest grouping of churches representing Catholics and Protestants, said it was supporting the change because of the high number of Malawian women dying in an attempt to abort a pregnancy using unsafe procedures.
Secretary General Gilford Matonga said the MCC remained opposed to abortion on demand.
The MCC has, however, received criticism from some religious institutions which remain strongly opposed to the amendment.
The changes await parliamentary approval.
Currently, abortion is punishable by law and attracts a maximum of 14 years imprisonment.