Bangkok: Five commissions under CBCT organized a seminar on the topic of the Act, Sections 301 and 305 with the Catholic teaching on the respect and dignity of human life on January 28, 2021 at the meeting room of the CBCT building and Via ZOOM Video conference and Facebook page of Catholic Social communication of Thailand.
The five-commission composed of episcopal commission for social ministry, Episcopal commission for social communications, Catholic commission for social development: Desk for women, Association of Religious Superiors of Thailand and Desk for Woman, Archdiocese of Bangkok Organized the said seminar to give awareness to people on the issues concern about legalizing abortion, including understanding the standpoint of the Catholic Church and the law of ethics in human being. More importantly, the seminar discussed about the role of religious organizations and the government program for holistic care and healing for women who are facing unwanted pregnancy. This seminar aimed to be platform for greater understanding and create network of collaboration to help in this issue.
This seminar was attended by experts in various fields involved in the discussion. It consists of Father Suthep Wanaphongtipakorn, SecretaryGeneral of the committee, Economic and Legal Advisor, Council of Heads, Roman Catholic Bishops of Thailand, on the topic of “Draft Act to Amend the Criminal Code, Sections 301 and 305” Camillian Hospital on the topic “The position of the Church on fertilization, contraception and abortion.” Sister Anurak Chaiyapuek from the Religious of the Good shepherd, directress of the Wildflower House (that provide assistance to unwed mothers and children), Chiang Mai Province on the topic of “Supporting Society when problem has arisen” with Father Phairat Sriprasert, Assistant Secretary-General of the Council of Roman Bishops. Catholics of Thailand, Social Ministry and Father Anucha Chaiyadej, Director of the Catholic Social communication. Thailand, conducted and participated in the panel discussions. Sister Aranya Kitbunchu closed the meeting with a remark.
In previous version law allows abortions in cases of rape, sex trafficking and all girls under 15. It’s also allowed if the pregnancy poses potential physical or mental harm to the mother, a broad enough clause used to justify the many clinical procedures performed. Women can also terminate their pregnancy if the fetus is found to have serious disabilities or genetic disorders. Women ending their pregnancies without satisfying one of these requirements face three years in jail and a 6,000-baht fine. Those performing the abortion can be jailed five years and fined up to 14,000 baht. In cases resulting in serious injury or death, the maximum penalty is 10 years in jail and a 20,000-baht fine.
Prior to the passing of the amendment of the abortion bill, the CBCT inform the catholic faithful about the issue and signatures campaign was done in all the Dioceses of Thailand. There were able to gathered significant numbers of signatures in a short period of time and it was submitted to Office against the passing of the Bill. Eventually, the cabinet has approved a law amendment bill that allows women with pregnancies of not more than 12 weeks to get an abortion . It also decriminalize doctors who perform an abortion if such conditions are met.
Although abortion will be no longer be a crime under the ruling, the Constitutional Court ordered the amendment of both Sections 301 and 305 , but there is still the hope to impart religious and cultural values to children and youth in various ways possible, whether in home or in school to prevent them from getting into abortion.
Event though Abortion is allow by the law, on the part of Catholic Doctors can refuse to perform it out of ones religious faith.