Thomas Tayebwa, the deputy speaker, has asked the administration to reject a measure enabling girls as young as 15 to get contraception.
He emphasizes that no one should accept the concept of authorizing birth control for teens and claims that such a move would essentially sanction sexual abuse in Uganda.
Recently, the government issued a policy change allowing females older than 15 to use contraception.
Supporters of the measure think it will lessen pregnancies in their early stages. After signing a contract with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to encourage birth control among young people, Uganda made this choice a few months later.
“We must hope that such ideas never enter our minds since doing so would give the devil our allegiance. The acceptance of this service would be the formalization of defilement. It would be an open acknowledgment of failure on our part. To address this problem, we should instead concentrate on stepping up our monitoring efforts, said Tayebwa.
Speaking to the Ministry of Health, Lucy Akello, a female MP representing the Amuru district, voiced her worry over the reduction of the legal age of consent from 18 to 15.
She also questioned if the government was still concerned about issues like HIV and any harm that contraceptives can do to adolescent girls’ bodies.
“From where did this plan originate? Have you researched how contraceptives affect young females who aren’t yet mothers? I fear these things even though I’ve given birth. What about little girls, then? I fear and avoid using them; instead, I turn to natural remedies. Can you guarantee that this proposed regulation would keep our children safe? Akello inquired.
The press reports were based on a query from Charles Olaro, Director of Curative Services at the Ministry of Health, according to Margaret Muhanga, Minister of State for Health in Charge of Primary Health Care.
The claim that the policy had already been authorized was refuted by Muhanga. She added that the worrying rise in adolescent pregnancies in Uganda led to the query. She said that everyone sleeping with these girls is aware of their youth and defiling them. She claimed that there had been a lot of adolescent pregnancies.
Should we allow young girls to become pregnant and run the danger of dying during delivery, or should we give them access to family planning services if they can’t prevent it? The recommendation was made in light of current socioeconomic conditions. It is only a proposal now; it is not yet a policy, according to Muhanga.
Despite the difficulties brought on by COVID-19, a report from 2023 shows that the pregnancy rate in Uganda is at 24%, a negligible one percentage point decline from 2016.
As part of its commitment to both present and future mothers and children, the government pledged to provide family planning services to adolescents and young people in 2017.
But that year’s National SRHR Policy (Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights) was not accepted.
The proposed SRHR policy extensively references ratified human rights agreements by Uganda. These documents emphasize that the nation must “respect, protect, and fulfill reproductive health as a right to health.”
The governmental Family Planning Costed Implementation Plan (FP-CIP II) for 2024–25 provides information on and organizes governmental documents pertinent to teen pregnancy (policies, guidelines, standards, etc.). The necessity of postponing sexual initiation is emphasized while sexually active adolescents and young people are given information and support services.
The legal age of consent in Uganda is 18. Therefore, opponents wonder if a planned proposal to give teens access to birth control indicates support for sexual behavior among those younger than the required age.