By Spy Uganda
A group of parents, teachers and religious organizations in Uganda have opposed the proposed bill in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) that, among others, seek to promote sex education in schools, homosexuality, and legalise abortion.
The group that has come together under the Family Life Network, a Non-Government Organization working towards the restoration of family values says any legislation to that effect will interfere with the good African norms which have tamed the society.
Stephen Langa from the Family Life Network has since called on the government to launch investigations into reports of several embassies that are recruiting young girls into subversive activities.
The chairperson of the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Ethics and Integrity, James Nsaba Buturo recently said, “The Bill is clever. It is not talking about homosexuality directly, but when you read the consequences of the policies, they are supporting sex education in schools and when it is unpackaged, it allows for the legalisation of abortion, homosexuality and exposing our learners to strange things.
The private members’ Bill was drafted by Dr Odette Nyiramilimo, a Rwandan representative at EALA in 2017.
The Bill states that a woman may terminate a pregnancy if a health professional suggests that there is a need for emergency treatment, if the pregnancy endangers the mental or physical health or the life of the woman, in case of sexual assault, rape, and incest or as may be permitted by the law of a partner State.
But to some East Africans, the Bill gives overwhelming authority to a health professional to decide when to terminate an abortion and this could be used as a loophole for abuse.
The Bill adds that every person in the region is entitled to and shall receive post-abortion care and treatment as a healthy and life-saving medical intervention, notwithstanding the legality of the abortion or attempted abortion.
Article 4 of the Bill states that “Every person shall enjoy their sexual and reproductive health rights and the services provided for by this Act without discrimination based on their nationality, race, ethnic group, colour, sex, age, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status recognised by the Constitution of a partner state or the community”.
Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda after President Museveni assented to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in February 2014, which made it an offence for whoever was found guilty.
Abortion is also illegal in Uganda. In the Constitution, there are conditions under which a pregnancy can be terminated. Article 22(2) provides that no one has the right to terminate an unborn child except if it’s authorised by the law.