Criminal abortion in Uganda: A cross–sectional study of perceptions and participation in Kampala District
Kasumba, Alfred Patrick
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The study examined criminal abortion in Uganda. The objectives of the study were to investigate the extent of incidents of abortion in Kampala; to conduct a survey on perceptions and participation to abortion in Kampala; to investigate whether the law on criminal abortion is adequate and if so, how effective it has been in curbing abortion and to find out what other remedies other than the law may be used to promote reproductive health and reduce the rate of abortion. The researcher used desk research, focus group discussions and questionnaires to obtain data. The study found that abortion is prevalent in society for it is carried out by various persons for different reasons. It is perceived as evil in society, although this perception has not deterred a number of young women from aborting. On the rate of abortion in Kampala, the full extent of criminal abortion cannot be measured and is a matter of speculation, than accurate data partly because abortion is illegal and the fear of penal sanctions prohibits the free exchange of information. The majority believe that life begins at conception and thus the unborn child has the right to be born alive and thus abortion should never be legalized. The study found that the law has generally not succeeded in curbing it down. In Uganda, the law on abortion is difficult to implement due to the fact that most abortions are carried out in areas and places where the law enforcers such as the police cannot easily find the culprits thus leading to limited protection of the unborn child. The study recommends that remedies other than the law that may be used to promote reproductive health and reduce the rate of abortion include communal sensitisation, promotion of family planning methods and provision of assistance to women and girls that get pregnancies they cannot afford to look after.