A feminist analysis of the impact of the law on abortion in Uganda
Uganda’s unmet need for family planning by 2016 stood at 30%. The teenage pregnancy rate in Uganda was equally high and stood at 25%. A UNICEF report in 2021 showed that this number grew with a 366% increase in pregnancies among girls aged 10-14 years.Currently, the estimated unintended pregnancy rate stands at 145 per 1000 women aged 15 to 49 years with more than 300,000 pregnancies ending in unsafe abortions.Uganda therefore has a high maternal mortality rate of 28% with unsafe abortions being the biggest contributor to this unfortunate phenomenon. Teenage pregnancy accounts for 22.3% of school drop outs among girls aged 14-18.46 These statistics reveal that majority of women in Uganda are not enjoying their rights as a result of unsafe abortions occurring because of unintended pregnancies. Women enjoy rights under the International human rights regime. Such rights include the right to life, freedom from degrading treatment or suffering, rights to liberty and choice and protection of bodily autonomy. Women have the right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health including of their sexual health and reproductive health rights. As a note of concern though, the abortion laws in Uganda are highly restrictive as the constitution makes the act of abortion illegal except as provided by law. This research investigates the connection between the restrictive law on abortion in Uganda and the violations of the various rights of women and girls in Uganda.