The Minister for Education and sports Janet Museveni says she will not allow the distribution of contraceptives to adolescent girls in schools.
Mrs. Museveni said this while officiating at the international celebrations of the girl child at Kyenjojo district grounds.
She said contraceptives are dangerous to the lives of children and also go against cultural norms.
She says what is required is to ensure that leaders and parents work together to protect the rights of children in the country.
She says if contraceptives are allowed to be distributed to the young children it’s bound to promote risky sexual behaviours among children including prostitution which will also destroy the future of children.
Early this year, The East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) drafted a Bill seeking to introduce contraceptives for children and teenagers aged between 10 and 19.
The Bill dubbed the EAC Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), Bill 2017, if passed into law will bind the East African Community member states to provide contraceptives to all EAC citizens including children.
The Bill also seeks to legalise abortion.
The EAC member states include; Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.
The Bill comes in the wake of a proposal mooted by the government of Uganda to introduce family planning for pupils. The Health ministry would roll out contraceptive use to children aged 10 years and above even as the Health minister denied knowledge of the Bill.
According to a draft copy prepared by Dr Odette Nyiramilimo, a Rwandan Eala legislator, the law intends to prevent unwanted pregnancies, risky abortion and sexually transmitted infections including HIV.
The law would also legislate for quality sexual reproductive health care, education and all services for the EAC member states.
“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,” reads Section 17(2) of the proposed Bill.
Part I (2) of the proposed Bill, describes an “Adolescent” as any person aged between 10 and 19 years.
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 method where a woman is not able to 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.