Special Reports

Religious leaders urge MPs to take firm stand on abortion


IRCU members with the Speaker of Parliament

The Inter Religious Council of Uganda has asked Parliament to reject and withdraw what they have called the “proposed pro-abortion bill” that is to be tabled in Parliament.

Quoting unnamed sources, the Council said that they are aware about groups working with the Ministry of Health to draft a document titled “Reducing Maternal Morbidity and Mortality from Unsafe Abortion in Uganda: Standards and Guidelines.”

“What is most unfortunate and disturbing is the fact that the Standards and Guidelines prescribe ‘safe abortion’ for children in schools and in our communities as young as 10 years,” said His Grace Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, the Archbishop Kampala Archdiocese on Tuesday during a Prayer Breakfast organized for Members of the 10th Parliament at Hotel Africana.

The cleric added that the stance of the Holy Books on human life is categorically clear and uncompromising, that “human life is sacred and God alone is the creator of all things including human life.”

The religious leaders also proposed that Parliament addresses issues of climate change and youth unemployment; bans sports betting and gambling and does more to address the state of health facilities in Uganda including improving the remuneration of health workers. They said that Parliament should push for a national health insurance system and equip health centres with medical equipment and supplies.

On sex education in schools, the clerics demanded that the Ministry of Education expunges all unauthorized sexuality materials that does not conform with the approved curriculum because they are not “only morally and spiritually unpalatable, but destructive to the young minds.”

The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, His Grace Rev. Stanley Ntagali, said the Prayer Breakfast is an opportunity to pray for and with MPs, and discuss issues of concern to the people of Uganda.

“We realize that things go wrong because good people choose to do nothing,” he said adding that leaders must desist from greed, selfishness, despondency and all forms of corruption.

The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, who was guest of honour at the breakfast recognized the contribution of religious leaders to democracy in Uganda and noted that the religious community has an equal stake in nation building.

She reassured the clerics that Parliament would set aside a day to debate the issues they had presented. She informed them that Parliament had directed the Ministry of Education to withdraw all the inappropriate books from their libraries and that there would be a ceremony to set the literature ablaze.

On gambling, Speaker Kadaga said Parliament enacted a law on gambling but no one was implementing it.

In addressing concerns of climate change, Kadaga revealed that Parliament intends to move a motion urging government to lay on table the Paris Agreement before end of September, and also demand for government to declare a national tree planting day.

Every year the Council of Presidents of the Inter Religious Council of Uganda interacts with Members of Parliament through a prayer breakfast meeting. The Inter Religious Council of Uganda is an association that brings together faith based religious institutions that include the Catholic Church, Church of Uganda, the Orthodox Church, the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, Seventh Day Adventists, Born Again faith, and the national alliance of Pentecostal and evangelical churches in Uganda.

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