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     Home > Justice & Peace >  2013-09-04 19:26:10
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Christian Leaders in Uganda oppose Plans to legalise Abortion

Christian religious leaders in Uganda under their umbrella organisation, the Uganda Joint Christian Council, have spoken out against plans by the government to legalise abortion. The protest comes after the State Minister for Health, Sarah Opendi, proposed on Monday this week that abortion should be legalised to prevent the deaths of women and girls, who carry out unsafe abortions under the assistance of non-professionals. She said a law to that effect would make in mandatory that women and girls who choose to abort are assisted by professionals to reduce the chances of complications like severe bleeding, infections or damage to the uterus. The Secretary of the Uganda Joint Christian Council, Fr. Silvester Arinaitwe told reporters in Kamala on Tuesday that abortion is against the teaching of Christ. The gospel, he said, is for the protection and defense of human life from conception to natural death. A Ugandan gynecologist, Dr. Charles Kiggundu, told journalists on Monday that there were two million conceptions in Uganda every year, but between 200,000 and 300,000 of these end up in miscarriage or spontaneous abortion; 350,000 end up in induced abortions. Ninety thousand of the induced abortions, he added, end up with severe complications, but only half of the women with complications seek medical care. A few survive, but many others die, he lamented. Abortion alone accounts for 35 per cent of maternal deaths in Uganda. Maternal mortality currently stands at 483 per 100,000 women, who die due to conditions related to pregnancy. Fr Arinaitwe appealed to women and girls who conceive not to kill their babies because their many charity homes in Uganda that can care for them. He advised them to avoid getting pregnant when they are not ready to have children, and stressed that they should abstain from sex until they get married.


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