By Micheal Atwakiire
Kabale: Police in Kabale arrested and detained a couple alleged to have aborted and dumped a six months fetus in a pit latrine.
Alleged suspects were identified as Ian Karyanah 27 years and Phionah Kansiime 24 both employees at City Max bar in Kekuubo Cell, Kabale Municipality.
It is alleged the above had been lovers for a while but none ever introduced the other to family members.
Brian Ampaire the area District Police Commander (DPC) confirmed the arrest and said the case was reported to police by Kekuubo Local Council One Chairperson Alex Byamugisha after receiving information from the suspect’s landlady Mrs Topisita Karema.
“I received a call from the Chairman LC1 telling that one of town landladies discovered a dead fetus in her pit latrine, so we rushed to the scene and when we reached there, of course it was true. Two suspects were arrested and the Fetus was taken to the mortuary at Kabale regional Referral Hospital for Postmortem,” Ampaire Confirmed.
Brian added the alleged suspects were charged with abortion pending further investigations.
He called upon youth to abstain from sex if they aren’t ready to face results.
“I call upon the public especially youths to desist from the bad practice involving in sexual affairs when they aren’t ready to look after their children, no one has a right to terminate the life of a person,” Ambaire added.
What does the law say?
The Ugandan Constitution, in Article 22, item 2 states: “No person has the right to terminate the life of an unborn child except as may be authorised by law.” However, what is authorized by law remains poorly understood.
The Penal Code of 1950, Article 141 on “Attempts to procure abortion” states:
Any person who, with intent to procure the miscarriage of a woman whether she is or is not with child, unlawfully administers to her or causes her to take any poison or other noxious thing, or uses any force of any kind, or uses any other means, commits a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.
Article 142 lays out a punishment of seven years for an attempt to procure a miscarriage.
Nonetheless, under other provisions of the Penal Code an abortion may be performed to save the life of a pregnant woman. Section 217 of the Code provides that a person is not criminally responsible for performing in good faith and with reasonable care and skill a surgical operation upon an unborn child for the preservation of the mother’s life if the performance of the operation is reasonable, having regard to the patient’s state at the time and to all the circumstances of the case. In addition, Section 205 of the Code provides that no person shall be guilty of the offence of causing by willful act a child to die before it has an independent existence from its mother if the act was carried out in good faith for the purpose of preserving the mother’s life.
In Uganda, an abortion is permitted to save a woman’s life, preserve the physical health of the woman, and to preserve the mental health of the woman. An abortion is not permitted in terms of rape or incest, fetal impairment, economic or social reasons, or by request. A legal abortion has to be performed by a licensed and registered physician with the consent of two physicians prior to the medical procedure.
An estimated 314,300 abortions occurred in Uganda in 2013 among all age groups and more than 93,000 women were hospitalized for complications from unsafe abortion,” said Justine Bukenya, a lecturer and researcher at Makerere University.
Another researcher at Makerere, Lynn Atuyambe, said the first study on the incidence of abortion among Ugandan adolescents revealed that out of 386,000 adolescent pregnancies in 2013, 53 per cent ended either in abortions or miscarriages.