The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Thomas Tayebwa has asked government not to approve the policy of allowing girls from the age of 15 years access contraceptive services.
Tayebwa’s call followed a matter raised by Amuru District Woman Member of Parliament, Ms Lucy Akello, who demanded an explanation on the same.
Dr Charles Olaro, the director for curative services at the Health ministry recently revealed that government is allowing girls as young as 15 years to access contraceptive services, a policy he argues will reduce early pregnancies.
Dr. Olaro told Daily Monitor that their priority will be out-of-school teenagers and young adults.
Tayebwa has equated the move to legitimizing sexual violence in Uganda, further asking government to reject the idea.
“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. That is clearly saying we have failed. 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,” Tayebwa posted on his X account on Tuesday.
Commenting on the matter, the State Minister for Primary Health Care, Ms Margaret Muhanga said that Dr. Olaro was misquoted, explaining that he just made a suggestion.
“We have so many teenage pregnancies, everyone who is sleeping with these girls knows that they are young and is defiling them, they are being married off to 65-year-old men. So, he suggested that should we lower the age of family planning to 15 years and he was asking the audience,” Muhanga said on Tuesday.
In May this year, Uganda signed a compact with the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), renamed United Nations Population Fund, to promote birth control among young people.