Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala, the Archbishop-emeritus of Kampala in Uganda, has reminded young people of Uganda that abortion is a mortal sin and dangerous to health. He made the warning at the weekend at Seeta High School during the celebration of Holy Mass for Secondary and High School candidates who are scheduled to begin their final national examinations, this October.
Quoting the Catholic Church’s teaching, Cardinal Wamala explained that nobody has a right to deny anyone the right to live. Abortion, he said, goes against the teaching of the Church and whoever does it or helps a person to do it, puts herself or himself in a difficult situation with God because God is the creator of life and He alone has the right to take it away. Life, the Cardinal added, should be protected and defended from the day of conception to natural death.
In July 2013, Uganda’s Daily Monitor quoted the Uganda Bureau of Statistics which showed alarming statics indicating that one in every four teenage girls between 15 and 19 was at risk of being pregnant. At the same time, the Daily Monitor also revealed that there seemed to be a distinctive link between poverty and early pregnancies as data from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics made a connection between adolescents from poor families and those from well-to-do homes. The pregnancy rate for adolescents from poor families stood at 41 per cent while those of adolescents of wealthier families was at 17 per cent.
Another research from a study conducted by Guttmacher Institute of New York in January 2013 on unintended pregnancy and abortion in Uganda indicated that 43 per cent of young mothers had been “unwilling” to engage in sexual intercourse. Many teenagers who terminate pregnancies, in Uganda, are often assisted by untrained and usually unskilled practitioners leading to ill health and sometimes death.
Abortion is illegal in Uganda, although it is permitted by law under special circumstances especially when the life of the mother is said to be in danger and when the embryo is abnormal. Under the country’s penal code, a person who conducts an abortion faces imprisonment for 14 years while a pregnant woman who undertakes the same act or consents to its performance is subject to 7 years imprisonment.
Cardinal Wamala advised the students gathered for the Holy Mass to have a vision and goals if they wanted to succeed in life. He called upon parents to advise their children about the dangers of premarital sex.
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