The Institute for Family Health has added its voice to the opposition against the Reproductive Healthcare Bill, 2019. Among other things, the proposed law seeks to ease access to abortion and family planning options.
Appearing before the Senate Committee on Health yesterday, the institute’s members said the proposed legislation would go against the fundamental right to life.
“The Bill is unjust, unfair and corrupted, segregating some human beings in their very delicate stages of development,” said Father Pascal Mwakio, the head of the institute.
Section 26 of the proposed law allows the termination of a pregnancy by a trained health worker through written consent.
In the proposals, a teenager can also abort, but only if her guardian writes to a health worker.
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The Bill was initially spearheaded in 2014 by Nominated Senator Judith Sijeny and proposes that adolescents be given access to comprehensive sexual education and confidential services.
It has since faced rejection from Muslim leaders, the Kenya Christian Association and pro-life human rights agencies.
The controversial legislation, however, has received support from, among others, Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika and Nairobi Woman Rep Esther Passaris.
Passaris argued that the Bill would go a long way towards addressing the needs of girls who fall pregnant at a young age.
The proposal characterises adolescents as persons aged between 10 and 17.
If it becomes law, national and county governments will further be compelled to provide free antenatal care, delivery care and postnatal care for women and girls.