Senator Susan Kihika Reproductive Health Bill 2019 goes through turbulence

Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika talking over her bill photos and document download
Nakuru Senator Susan Kihik. FILE

Nakuru Senator Susan Kihikas' controversial Reproductive Health Bill 2019, evoked clashing views from different leaders during the first public participation session held in Nairobi.

The Bill is fully opposed by religious leaders but a section of MPs and medical practitioners gathered behind the proposed law.

Kenya Christian Association called for the withdrawal of the Bill, saying there was no thorough discussion during formulation.

Part of the MPs and civil society groups, however, affirmed that it was time to induce the embarrassing subject to the table.

Nelly Bosire, a gynaecologist, said the sexual consent age is 18 years but children start to mature as early as 12 years.

"Those feelings at a lower age need to be protected, otherwise we will continue filling prisons with productive Men and the number of teen pregnancies will never lower down, "

“The sexual consent age is 18 years but our hormones were not given that memo,” she explained.

City lawyer Charles Kanjama said the Bill in its current form encourages teen sex.

“Because reproductive health involves sex and sexuality, we need to ensure that we craft the Bill so well so that it does not seem to permit teenagers to engage in sex,” he explained.

Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris said the Bill would go a long way in addressing the needs of girls who fall pregnant at a tender age.

“This Bill will address the pain and the suffering that you see when an 11-year-old gives birth. It will address the pain you see when children abuse other children,” she stated.

The Reproductive Health Bill, among other things, touches on family planning, assisted reproduction and safe motherhood as well as outlines instances in which abortion should be allowed under the supervision of a medical doctor.

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