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(LifeSiteNews) — Ugandan Members of Parliament (MPs) recently rejected a motion to grant contraceptive access to 15-year-old girls, blasting the motivation to reduce teen pregnancy as “devilish.”

A governmental proposal to give teenage girls access to contraception was quickly shut down by conservative leaders who argued artificial means are not the answer to rising teen pregnancies in the nation.

The attempt was sparked as a response to the growing number of young mothers as highlighted by a 2022 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS), the results of which were presented during a Dissemination Workshop on September 8. Almost a quarter of Ugandan girls between the ages of 15 and 19 are mothers who have already given birth or are currently pregnant.

The survey also shows that 43 percent of married women ages 15-49 are currently using some form of contraception and 47 percent of unmarried women who are sexually active use artificial means of preventing pregnancy. The “traditional method[s]” of contraception are used by less than five percent of Ugandan women, according to the survey.

Data also notes that the number of teen pregnancies spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Primary Healthcare Minister Margaret Muhanga, the proposal was suggested by Dr. Charles Olaro, senior medical officer, and had yet to receive approval from the Ugandan government. The targeted demographic would be teenage girls who are no longer in the school system and young women.

Olaro reportedly expressed his support for teen contraceptive access as “a matter of fundamental rights.” He further argued that minors should be given access to “information on sexual reproductive health and contraceptives… without stigma, discrimination or judgment.”

During an October 10 parliamentary debate on the issue, MP Lucy Akello called the motion to give 15-year-olds contraception “scary” and wondered if the government was seeking to reduce the age at which Ugandan women are able to access the artificial methods. She added that she does not use such means to prevent pregnancy but rather applies “the natural method, the one God gave me.”

Akello also questioned the safety of allowing minors to conceive, citing the health risks of carrying out a pregnancy and giving birth at such young ages.

Unapologetically conservative Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa blasted the proposal as a “devilish” idea that would lead to the endorsement of the “defilement” of young girls and promised the motion “should never see the light of day.”

“We pray that the devil doesn’t find his way and such thoughts should never come into the minds of our people because it would imply that we have given up on our girl children by formalizing defilement,” Tayebwa said via social media. “We would rather strengthen the monitoring to ensure that we fight this vice but not legitimize it by giving such services, and I am glad it isn’t yet a policy.”

While the Western world pushes anti-life practices such as normalized contraception, Uganda has stood firm in its traditional values. Conservative leaders have also rejected attempts to legalize and normalize abortion as well as encouraging African countries to “save the world” from the LGBT agenda permeating culture in the West.


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