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Youth Urge Gov’t To Legalize Abortion

Youth have urged government to legalize abortion, arguing that the existing ban has not helped stop the vice.

Speaking during a National Consultative Meeting of the Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum in Kampala on Wednesday, the youth leaders said because of the ban, many young women are dying at the hands of quack health workers as they secretly procure abortion.

Mr Patrick Mwesigye, the Executive Director of the Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum, said there are many preventable deaths arising from unsafe abortions.

“Government should create supportive legal and policy environment that should include the universal access to the management of preventing deaths arising from unsafe abortions and ensure that abortion is decriminalized,” he said.

“Government should also amend the laws and regulations and strategies relating to voluntary termination of pregnancy in order to protect lives of girls who are involved in unsafe and unwanted pregnancies,” Mr Mwesigye added.

According to the Constitution, abortion carries a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.

Sheikh Ali Waiswa Muhammad, the Deputy Mufti of Uganda, said as religious leaders, they will provide appropriate sexual and reproductive education to the youth to safeguard against teenage pregnancies and ensure that they stay safe.

Sheikh Waiswa said faith based leaders have obligations to ensure that children get the right information instead of being fed with information that is not appropriate for their age.

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Several other government ministries, agencies and departments all made commitments to international conference on population and development that was agreed on in Cairo, Egypt in 1994.

Mr David Bahati, the State Minister for Planning, said a lot needs to be done to ensure that the girl-child has access to the right information at the right time.

He highlighted the biggest challenge as girls getting pregnant at an early age, which disrupts their progress in education.

 

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