Unsafe abortion practices remain the major contributor to maternal mortality in Uganda, impeding the achievement of universal health coverage and quality of maternal health care.
Unsafe abortion poses a heavy economic burden on the already strained national budget, and to women, through post abortion care response to unsafe abortion. Moreover, unsafe abortion prac- tices render women and their families to spend heavily on the repercussions of unsafe abortion. For example, they are spending more time and money in hospitals on post abortion complications which reduces their productivity, leading to economic loss and reduced productivity (Guttmacher institute 2017)—in fact, treating complications and adverse events brought by unsafe abortion costs over USD 14Million per year in Uganda.
Health experts estimate that 297,000 abortions occur annually in Uganda despite the restrictive laws and environment; this indicates that making abortion illegal cannot stop women from fetching for it, but rather it forces women to opt for risky procedures and methods2. The Uganda Demo- graphic Health Survey 2016 noted that out of 16-18 maternal deaths every day, 4-6, which is 28.5 to 33.3% are due to unsafe abortion3
The law; The Ugandan Constitution, in Article 22, item 2 states: “No person has the right to ter- minate the life of an unborn child except as may be authorised by law.”4 The constitution (Article 22 (2)) allows for termination of pregnancy as prescribed under the law where the Ugandan law explicitly allows abortion to save a woman’s life. The authorizing legislation, the Penal Code Act, gives authorization and restrictions on providing abortion care.
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