The Parliamentary Forum on Ethics and Integrity has asked Uganda’s representatives at the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) to abandon a Sexuality and Reproductive Health Bill that seeks to "promote sexual immorality".
While addressing aspiring candidates for EALA on Thursday, 04 August 2022 at Parliament House, James Nsaba Buturo, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Forum on Ethics and Integrity said the bill provides for the approval of homosexuality and abortion in a hidden way, yet both practices are illegal in Uganda.
The Bill was drafted in 2017 by Dr. Odette Nyiramilimo, a Rwandan representative in EALA, and later thrown out in 2021 after it was contested by EAC governments.
However, EALA has instructed its Committee on General Purpose chaired by Ugandan legislator, Hon. Denis Namara, to redraft the bill.
“They decided to sugarcoat it with some popular provisions, It is not talking about homosexuality directly, but when you read the consequences of the policies, it allows for the legalization of abortion, homosexuality and exposing our learners to strange things,” Buturo said.
He tasked the EALA team to outrightly reject the bill, once elected to represent Uganda in the assembly.
“They should specifically go there and say no to this Bill which is directly promoting things that are illegal in our country.”
One of the aspirants, former Ngora district Woman MP, Jaqueline Amongin, vowed to denounce the bill upon arrival at the assembly.
“I will be consistent with what my country’s laws say. In regards to abortion, what does the law say in regards to the termination of life,” asked Amongin.
Sections of the bill permit a woman to abort a pregnancy in cases of emergency treatment, when the pregnancy endangers the mental or physical health or the life of the woman, or in case of sexual assault, rape, and incest.
The Bill provides for anyone in the region to receive post-abortion care and treatment after abortion or an attempt.
The bill also allows for sexual rights without discrimination on the basis of their nationality, race, ethnic group, color, sex, age, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth, or other status recognized by the Constitution of a partner state or the community.
Dennis Namara, the chairperson of the Committee on General Purpose, says most EALA members are already against the bill.
“I assure you that most of the EALA members are against this Bill. I am also against it because it contravenes the values and customs of the country,” Mr. Namara said.
The Bill will be presented in a report before September.