By Samuel Kwizera
On Monday, October 17, 2022, the Chamber of Deputies rejected the relevance of the bill that sought to provide for access to contraceptive services for children (girls) aged from 15, among other stipulations. Since then, the issue has attracted mixed reactions from different segments of society, including believers and rights activists.
Below is a Christian voice to the issue.
I remember the first time I carefully studied this topic was in 2018, as I was engaging in a debate on sexual and Reproductive rights prepared by the HDI (Health Development Initiative).
During that time, I realised how the discussion on teen pregnancy and others related to it happens mostly in an ‘echo chamber.’
Civil society, religious organisations, and the government try to harmonise their voice on this issue. However, there is still much to be done. This issue has received acknowledgment in the past five years. However, numbers keep on skyrocketing year in and year out, and unfortunately, most solutions to this issue only fix the symptoms and not the real problem.
In an article published in the New Times under the title “Progressive debate needed on Contraceptives bill for 15-year-olds,” the writer attributes the cause of teen pregnancies to lack of parents in their children’s lives, family conflicts, and lack of primary sexual education.
Here is a question to ask ourselves as Christians, what has happened to us as a society? How low have we stooped to the point of considering allowing kids to use contraceptive methods? We must reflect and ask ourselves, how productive are we doing our responsibility of raising a generation that glorifies God with their lives.
As a church, are we addressing this issue? Do we have our ‘hands in dirt’ looking for pro-life solutions to this issue? Now that the parliament is asking for Faith-based organisations and other stakeholders to be incorporated in pursuit of this bill, do we have anything to offer? Do we have a unified prophetic voice on this societal issue or do we not care?
The churches’ relevancy does not stop on Sunday, the scriptures are filled with examples of believers engaging in the community for its good like Nehemiah, Ezra, history gives more faithful Christians like William Wilberforce against slavery, Dr James Dobson focusing on family and many more. I believe this is the right time and opportunity for Christians to give their biblical view on the cause and possible solution for teen pregnancies.
It’s high time we take our rightful place to give a biblical opinion on matters concerning our society with braveness and wisdom. The absence of this will not only lead to an erosion of Christian values, but it will also have our names and time on the wrong side of history
Finally, let’s remember that children are a heritage from God, those who are born and those yet to be born. Therefore, whatever we do with them, we will be accountable to our lord Jesus Christ.