Illegal Abortions Become Thriving Business In Uganda

2559 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The World Health Organization 2012 figures put abortions in Uganda at 300,000 every year; the organization states that 85,000 women in Uganda are treated annually for abortion related complications.

Despite having a restrictive anti abortion law in Uganda, unsafe abortions are continually procured putting the health of women at risk.

The World Health Organization 2012 figures put abortions in Uganda at 300,000 every year; the organization states that 85,000 women in Uganda are treated annually for abortion related complications.

According to Dr. Charles Kiggundu a Gynecologist at Mulago Hospital out of 30 women who visit the gynecological unit at Mulago Hospital in a week, 10 to 15 come with abortion related complications originating from unsafe or botched terminations.

She notes that the facility has to remove two or three uteruses every week or a woman would die from complications.

Speaking to URN on phone, Dr. Kiggundu emphasized that the Ministry’s policy guidelines and service standards for sexual and Reproductive health and Rights are clear on circumstances under which an abortion may be safely carried out.

He explains that abortion can be carried out during severe maternal illnesses threatening the health of a pregnant woman like severe heart disease or renal disease.

As well it is permitted when the pregnancy is a result of sexual violence like rape and defilement or incest.

Dr.Kiggundu points out that in under no circumstances can abortion be procured for social or economic reasons, of which push most women to terminate pregnancies.

Speaking to URN on the subject, Annet Kyarimpa, the Reproductive Health Uganda special Coordinator, said that abortion as a reproductive health challenge cannot be completely ignored. She calls for an informed policy on the issue.

//Cue in: Some leaders are…”
Cue out… by young people”.//

But Isaiah Mbugga, the National Programs Officer in charge of Research and Training at the Population Secretariat, maintains that any person who engages in sexual activities should be aware of the repercussions and should either abstain or find other means.

//Cue in: We don’t have…”
Cue out...legalizing it”.//

The 1995 Uganda constitutional provisions state that:"No one has the right to terminate the life of an unborn child except as may be authorizedby law". But as Dr. Kiggundu observes the law is narrowly interpreted without considering maternal safety.