Ugandan MPs reject birth control for 15-year-old girls – Capital Radio Malawi
30 November, 2023

Ugandan MPs reject birth control for 15-year-old girls

Uganda's influential religious leaders say teenagers should abstain from sex

Ugandan lawmakers have rejected a government proposal to allow 15-year-old girls to access birth control pills to reduce high levels of pregnancy.

Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa called the idea “devilish”, saying it would “formalise [the] defilement” of girls.

A senior health ministry official said the “stigma” around young people using contraceptives should end.

Nearly a quarter of 15- to 19-year-old girls in Uganda are either pregnant or are already mothers, a survey says.

The rate increased sharply during the Covid lockdown when schools were shut for almost two years.

During a highly charged parliamentary debate on Tuesday, MP Lucy Akello questioned whether the age of consent was being lowered from the current 18 years to 15 years, the state-owned New Vision newspaper reported.

She described the proposal to offer contraceptives to 15-year-old girls as “scary”.

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