– The Bill was prepared by Wiper Democratic Movement nominated Senator Judith Sijeny further provides that the Board makes available confidential, comprehensive, non-judgmental and affordable reproductive health services to adolescents.
– Those who prevent adolescents from getting education, including their parents or guardians, would be fined up to Sh200,000 or jailed for three years if convicted.
– Catholic Church’s John Cardinal Njue declined to discuss the Bill in detail, saying the Church was yet to take a stand on it. He, however, hinted that the Church would oppose the Bill if it advocates abortion.
– In for example several European countries, the legal age for sex is 15, and the sexual education in school starts at 5 to 6 grade 10 to age 12 as it was discovered that the more restrictions, the more curious the teen get and wants to try it of.
The number of pregnancies, sexual transmitted diseases and more has been dropping dramatically the recent years, as info starts earlier.
Parents, education officials and religious leaders are up in arms against a Bill that seeks to give children as young as 10 access to information on sexual matters.
The is being debated in the Senate and provides that the Health Cabinet secretary and the Reproductive and Child Health Care Board “shall facilitate the provision of adolescent-friendly reproductive health and sexual health information and education.”
The Bill also obligates national and county governments to provide contraceptives and family planning services, including contraceptive options, counselling, information and education.
The Bill was prepared by Wiper Democratic Movement nominated Senator Judith Sijeny further provides that the Board makes available confidential, comprehensive, non-judgmental and affordable reproductive health services to adolescents.
It defines adolescents as those between the age of 10 and 17.
Providing such information would not require the consent of the adolescent’s parent or guardian, according to the Bill.
Those who prevent adolescents from getting education, including their parents or guardians, would be fined up to Sh200,000 or jailed for three years if convicted.
The Bill defines reproductive health as a state of “complete physical, mental and social well being in matters relating to the reproductive system.
It however does not define “comprehensive sexuality education and confidential services.”
The Kenya National Association of Parents said it would oppose the Bill, (Reproductive Health Care Bill of 2014) saying it was wrong to expose children as young as 10 to sexual content.
“When we made our input to the Bill, we generally agreed that education on sexuality be taught to children but from the age of 14 because we realised most parents are not free to discuss sexuality with their children in this era of HIV/Aids. If they have gone ahead to lower the age to 10, then we totally oppose it as parents,” said the association’s Secretary-General Musau Ndunda.
“You cannot talk to a child of 10 on matters of sexuality, you will be exposing them to very dangerous information at a very early age.” The chairman of the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association John Awiti also criticised the Bill, saying teachers were ill-equipped to provide information on sexuality to their pupils.
“We should ask ourselves, are our teachers trained to handle such issues professionally? Because we may attempt to do it and come up with other undesirable consequences. Let teachers be trained how to handle the subject professionally,” he said.
Catholic Church’s John Cardinal Njue declined to discuss the Bill in detail, saying the Church was yet to take a stand on it. He, however, hinted that the Church would oppose the Bill if it advocates abortion.
“We are studying the contents of the Bill and we will come out with our stand shortly, but you obviously know our stand on abortion,” he said.
The church has consistently opposed abortion, maintaining that every human being, whether born or unborn, has a right to life.
The clause that seems to offend the church provides that a health professional, in consultation with the pregnant woman, may terminate the pregnancy if it is established that it endangers the woman’s life or health.
It further states that a pregnancy would be terminated only with the consent of the woman or in the case of a pregnant minor, with the consent of a guardian or whoever has parental responsibility over the minor. However, the best interests of the minor would be considered.
The Anglican Church of Kenya Mumias Bishop Beneah Salala accused senators of seeking to impose their views on Kenyans. He called for a nationwide debate before the Bill was enacted.
“Issues of reproductive health are matters that touch on families and that is why if we have to enact this Bill, let us have the input of many different people and not a few parliamentarians or human rights activists sitting in boardrooms and imposing laws on the rest of Kenyans,” Bishop Salala said in an interview with the Nation.