Keep abortion and contraception for children out of East Africa!
Update 6 June 2017: We won! The EALA shelved the bill, leaving it dead on arrival by the end of the term. The bill was scheduled to be debated on the May 31st before the house got dissolved but it couldn't be discussed. That means we've effectively won this campaign. Thanks so much for your support!
The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is about to become a house of murderers! They have drafted a Bill seeking to legalise abortion and give contraceptives to children and teenagers aged 10–19.
If passed into law, the Bill (dubbed the EAC Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Bill 2017) will bind East African Community member states to legalise abortion in some cases and to provide contraceptives to all EAC citizens, including children.
EAC member states include; Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.
The Bill, currently at committee stage is among pending business to be handled by the new EALA legislators as soon as they assume office.
Section 17(2) of the proposed Bill reads:
“The partner states shall ensure that adolescents and young persons get access to relevant quality and youth friendly sexual and reproductive health services including contraceptives and condoms. . .”
Part I (2) of the proposed Bill, describes an “Adolescent" as any person aged between 10 and 19 years. (You can read the entire text of the bill here.)
The proposed legislation also requires member states to design and implement sexual and reproductive public education. If the law is endorsed, every individual would have a right to choose and consent to any method of birth control, including sterilization, a procedure in which a woman artificially made so that she cannot bear children again.
Under Section 15 (1), the Bill intends to legalise abortion, provided the pregnancy endangers the woman’s health and life: “The partner states shall safeguard and give effect to the reproductive rights of a woman by permitting the termination of pregnancy when in opinion of a trained health professional,” the proposed law states.
According to world experts in maternal health, however, abortion is never medically necessary to save the life of a pregnant mother. The Dubin Declaration on Maternal Healthcare reads: "As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion – the purposeful destruction of the unborn child – is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman. . . . We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women."
Thus, the proposal to legalise abortion in these instances is a smokescreen to attempt to legalise abortion for a broad variety of cases, leading to abortion-on-demand.
The spirit of this bill is ill and catastrophic, it should never see the light of day. Most of its content is inconsistent with many East African Countries' laws, since abortion is illegal in all East African countries.
The attempt to introduce the bill at this assembly should thus be stopped now! Sign the petition to send an email message to EALA legislators, urging them to kill this bill!
Sign this petition now!
Keep abortion out of East Africa!