By Watchdog reporter

Two Makerere University law dons petition the Constitutional Court challenging its failure to pass laws aimed at legalizing abortion.

Prof. Ben Twinomugisha and Dr. Rose Nakayi together of Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) have asked the court to issue an order compelling the Executive and Parliament to immediately pass a law regulating termination of pregnancies so as to reduce on maternal mortality rates that arise from unsafe abortions.

Apparently abortion in Uganda is illegal unless performed by a doctor who believes pregnancy places the woman’s life at risk. The Ugandan Ministry of Health estimates that as of 2008, 26% of all maternal deaths result from abortion complications. This is aggravated by legal, socioeconomic, and geographical barriers to safe abortion, which compel women to use unsafe abortion methods and deter them from seeking post-abortion medical care. Contraception is not commonly used, leading to Uganda’s need for family planning.