Clerics reject abortion Bill, sex education

Archbishop of the Church of Uganda Stanley Ntagali (right) greets Speaker Rebecca Kadaga during a prayer breakfast in Kampala yesterday. PHOTO BY ALEX ESAGALA.

KAMPALA. Religious leaders have rejected a planned legislation seeking to decriminalise abortion and called for a law banning sex education in schools.

Speaking during an inter-religious council of Uganda (IRCU) prayer breakfast meeting organised by the 10th Parliament at Hotel Africana yesterday, Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga asked government to go slow on the Bill and described abortion as “criminality” and “murder” which the Bible condemns.

Archbishop Lwanga also reminded the Health ministry, the architects of the planned Bill, that such legislation is a recipe for disaster. During the event graced by the Speaker, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, the Archbishop presented a paper on “issues requiring government attention”.

The IRCU is a faith-based organisation that unites and promotes multi-religious collaborative dialogue among the different faiths.

PS clarifies
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Asuman Lukwago, confirmed that a team headed by the Minister of State for Primary Healthcare, Ms Sarah Opendi, was instituted to draft the Bill that will promote safe abortion. Dr Lukwago said the Bill aims at promoting safe and legal abortion.

“The Constitution says abortions are illegal unless carried out under the law and we are providing for the provision of ‘under the law’,” Mr Lukwago explained.

However, Cap 224 allows for abortion in case the mother’s life is in danger. A 2013 report by the Ministry of Health showed that a total of 292,000 abortions are carried out annually in Uganda.