Abortion rights advocates respond to conservative clerics over abortion bill

The Ministry of Health of Uganda has continued to consult on the issue of abortion law reform legislation and is expected to present a draft bill in Parliament shortly.In a public debate on the issue, Dr Charles Kiggundu, President of the Association of Gynecologists and Obstetricians of Uganda spoke in favour legalisation, noting that health workers dealing with maternal health are confronted daily with women coming to them with complications of unsafe abortion, including infections and perforated uterus. He believes the change of law and guidelines will help to resolve the situation for many health professionals.Conservative religious leaders take a very different stance, i.e. that abortion is murder, plain and simple. However, this stance means they must pretend that women are not dying from unsafe abortion complications in large numbers.The Centre for Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) executive director, Mr Moses Mulumba, said the church should instead step up to the plate and be championing neglected rights. “Religious leaders should know that in about 160 countries where legislation allows abortion on broad indications, there is a lower incidence of unsafe abortion and much lower mortality from unsafe abortions, as compared to legislation that greatly restricts abortion like in Uganda,” he said. “And for the public health rationale to be realised and deter unsafe abortions, our desire is that Ugandan abortion laws must ultimately translate into services that are accessible to all women.”STOP PRESS: We have been advised by email that the abortion bill has been tabled in the parliament in Uganda. More news when available….SOURCE: AllAfrica.com, by David Mafabi, 8 September 2016