The minister for health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has clarified that her ministry has no plans of introducing a Bill aimed at legalizing abortion in the country.
Speaking to New Vision in an exclusive interview, Aceng said, “I have read several reports in the press that we are working on a Bill to legalize abortion but that is not true.”
The minister explained that the post abortion management policy and reducing maternal mobility and mortality which many keep referring to was halted.
About two weeks ago, religious leaders under Inter-Religious Council issued a statement arguing they had learnt about plans in the ministry to legalize abortion.
“The stance of our Holy Books on human life is categorically clear and uncompromising. Human life is sacred and God alone is the creator of all things including human life. We therefore recommend the rejection and withdrawal of the Bill in its entirety,” the clerics demanded.
On Friday, former ethics Minister Dr. James Nsaba Buturo together with Gulu woman MP Betty Aol, Bunya South MP Robert Ntende and Kazo County MP Gordon Bafaki held a press conference and indicated they had also learnt of plans in the ministry of health to legalize abortion.
"Those pushing for the Bill claim that failure to legalize abortion fuels maternal mortality and morbidity. The framers claim abortion, which is currently illegal in our laws, is a way of life Ugandans must embrace. Abortion is murder which holy books forbid. Ever since abortion was legalized, 60million babies have been killed, which is higher than the 6million people Hitler of Germany killed," Dr. Buturo stated.
The Director General of Health Services Dr. Anthony Mbonye is one of those known to be pushing for the post abortion management policy.
Defending the policy recently, Mbonye said, “There are a lot of women coming to hospitals with complications, they report with infections and punctured uteri every day, this policy will provide a better picture on how, when and in what circumstances a safe abortion can be performed.”
He said there are more than 300,000 abortions in Uganda each year and that the “vast majority” are unsafe.
Dr. Mbonye explained that the policy provides a platform for politicians, government, religious leaders and the girls to rethink the law on abortion.
Civil Society groups and other people pushing for a law legalizing abortion have been using statistics like the argument that government loses sh7.5b annually on consequences of unsafe abortions.
Out of the 54 African countries, only 4 countries including South Africa, Cape Verde, Mozambique, and Tunisia have legalized abortion without any restrictions.