A group of Members of Parliament, led by Deputy Speaker Mr. Thomas Tayebwa, has strongly criticized a new proposal from Health Ministry officials.
The plan aims to introduce birth control methods for girls aged 15 and above. The MPs described this initiative as “devilish” and argued that it would negatively influence young minds, as they are the future of the nation.
In response to a query from Amuru MP Lucy Akello, Deputy Speaker Tayebwa, along with lawmakers from various political backgrounds, expressed concerns about the policy, stating that it would essentially sanction defilement and have serious health consequences for young girls.
Tayebwa emphasized, “The devil should not find a way, and such thoughts should never cross our minds because it is giving up. This is tantamount to formalizing defilement.”
Lucy Akello referred to a headline from the Daily Monitor titled “Girls to get birth control from age 15 in the new plan” and raised questions about the motives behind the policy.
She pointed out, “This means that we are lowering the age from 18. Are we not concerned about the effects of contraceptives on these young girls? Are we no longer concerned about the risk of HIV infection?”
Akello further questioned whether any studies had been conducted to assess the implications of contraceptives for young girls who haven’t given birth.
She expressed her personal concerns about contraceptives and emphasized that it was vital to ensure the safety of children with this policy.
Dr. Charles Olaro, the Director for Curative Services at the Health Ministry, mentioned that the policy was aimed at out-of-school teenagers and young adults.
In response to MPs’ concerns, State Minister for Primary Healthcare Ms. Margaret Muhanga clarified that the policy was not yet approved.
She had discussed the matter with Dr. Olaro, who had suggested the idea. Dr. Olaro had raised it as a way to address the challenges faced by young girls, such as teenage pregnancies.
Deputy Speaker Tayebwa remained steadfast in his opposition to the policy, stating that it should never see the light of day.
He stressed the importance of strengthening efforts to combat issues like teenage pregnancy rather than legitimizing them through such a policy.