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Christians decampaign abortion as a birth control measure in Uganda

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Much as they support the idea of Ugandans using birth control measures so that they can have children they are able to take care of, a group of born-again believers have decampaigned the acceptance of abortion in Uganda.

“We discourage abortion, and allow you to control child birth using any control methods like condoms, exclusive breast feeding, counting your safe days among other methods,” the group, which included Bishop Herbert Buyondo of Kampala Born-again faith, said.

Speaking to religious leaders in a meeting organised by Inter-religious Council Uganda, Bishop Herbert said those who use the Bible to speak against using birth control measures to produce fewer children are ignorant about the word of God.

“God created us in his own image and likeness and gave us knowledge to use, so you cannot say that God is happy with people who bear children that they cannot take care of,” Buyondo said.

Over years, authorities have reported an increase in the number of teenage girls undergoing abortions in Uganda. Most of the abortions are performed on schoolgirls, by quacks, using crude instruments.

Mr Buyondo noted that government, NGOs and schools should initiate a massive anti-abortion campaign. He added that this campaign should not simply emphasise that abortion is criminal. It should clearly explain the dangers of abortion and spell out the available alternatives.

Buyondo noted that religious and elite pastors should not mislead their flock, but are supposed to show them the right path to take.

He said, as long as the egg is not fertilized, people can use all the birth control measures.

Also present was Mr Samuel Kizito, the pastor and director of Health/HIV/AIDS in the Seventh-day Adventist Church said. He said their faith encourages the use of contraceptives and are guided by their leaders in the US to produce four children or less but should not exceed four.

“God the father of the world produced only two people and that was Adam and Jesus. Those who say produce more are ignorant,”Kizito said.

The legal status of abortion in Uganda is unclear because it provides for some exceptions while criminalizing the procedure in most cases. The UgandanConstitution, in Article 22, item 2 states: “No person has the right to terminate the life of an unborn child except as may be authorised by law.”

In 2013, Dr Charles Kiggundu, the president of the Association of Gynaecologists and obstetricians of Uganda, said that a year, about 1,500 girls in Uganda die from complications resulting from unsafe abortion contributing to the slow progress to reduce the number of women who due to pregnancy-related complications.

Uganda’s Ministry of Health 2016 statistics indicated that 343 per 100,000 girls and women who went to give birth died in the process. 26 percent of these are due to unsafe abortion.

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