Uganda: 13-Year-Old Girl Rescued From Shrine After Failed Abortion

15 October 2019

A 13-year-old girl has been hospitalized at Kiyunga health centre IV after suffering complications while procuring an abortion from a shrine located in Naigobya village, Bulongo sub-county, Luuka district.

The victim, who was reportedly taken to the shrine by her suspected defiler Ivan Magunda, a teacher on Sunday night, suffered excessive bleeding and tear which required urgent medical attention.

Magunda allegedly connived with the victim's parents whom he paid Shs 150,000 to conceal the information about the defilement and the subsequent pregnancy. The parents, however, alerted the police upon realizing that their daughter's life was in danger. In the aftermath, Magunda was arrested and detained at Nabugu police station.

The victim's mother whose names have been withheld, says that Magunda, was entrusted to coach the child during weekends, a service he offered at no cost. However, he abused the trust by defiling the girl.

Luuka district police commander John Bosco Serunjogi says that the suspect is facing charges of defilement and procuring an abortion.

The Ugandan constitution and the Penal Code Act prohibit abortion, a practice which is equally challenged from moral or traditional perspectives. The constitution specifies that no person has a right to terminate the life of an unborn child except as permitted under the law, which explicitly allows abortion only women a woman's life is threatened.

However, thousands of Ugandans, the majority of them teenagers, continue to procure abortions in unregulated environments. According to the Health ministry, about 90,000 of the 400,000 abortions procured annually, result in severe health complications and sometimes death.

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