HLI’s Mission Work Helps Ugandan Girls

HLI has helped save teenage girls in Uganda.

The teenage pregnancy rate in Uganda is high. About a quarter of Ugandan girls aged 15-19 are pregnant, or are already mothers, according to a UNICEF survey. To combat this, a policy was proposed to the Ugandan government to distribute birth control to teenage girls. Yet this policy was not proposed by Parliament, but by a health official.

Our associate, Fr. Opio, who works on the ground in Uganda, contacted MP Lucy Akello regarding this policy.

Father Opio, country director for HLI Uganda

Father Opio, country director for HLI Uganda

Hon. Lucy also is the Chairman for the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus, and she was horrified at the policy proposed. Later that same day, she brought the topic to the Parliament floor. She opened her speech by saying, “Some international bodies are using the Ministry of Health to abuse and sexualize children in Uganda.” She asked whether the age of consent was reduced from 18 to 15, calling the idea of providing birth control to minors “scary.” She stood firm and showed her faith, saying, “I use the natural method, the one God gave me.”

The Ugandan Parliament shared Hon. Lucy’s sentiments, and they denied the policy. The Minister of Health was asked to explain herself, and was told not to propose such policies again.

Without its generous donors, HLI would not have been able to push for justice for young girls in Uganda. Our heartfelt thanks go out to each of them.

Marisa Cantu has an MS in political science and international affairs and a BA in political science. She has also studied international studies and French. She has a strong background in nonprofit work, research, writing, and policy proposal and analysis.

In her free time, Marisa enjoys painting, writing, cooking, and spending time with her husband.

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