Kenyan Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Susan Nakhumicha has come out clearly to decline the issue of providing contraceptives to teenagers, stating that they should abstain from early sexual acts until they get married.
The CS said that she will not provide condoms to the teenagers, stating that, as a Christian, she believes that abstinence is the key to stopping sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unwanted pregnancies amongst teenagers.
Speaking on the sidelines of the African Union Summit of 2023 that is currently taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the CS further added that teenagers shouldn't access contraceptives, but in cases where children are exposed to forced sex or any unplanned sexual act, maximum protection is required.
The debate that has been going on for some time now has caused a stir in the country to the point where a media house in Kenya recently updated a poll on Twitter about whether teenagers should be given contraceptives to avoid teenage pregnancies and infection with STDs or not be given contraceptives and abstain from early sexual acts.
Out of the poll, different opinions have been discovered, with 64 percent of the participants disagreeing with the CS on her action of banning teenagers from accessing contraceptives. The remaining 36 percent were in favor of banning them from premarital activities.
In their opinions, most parents and adults who voted to oppose the CS proposal were in support of their comments, noting that the world has evolved from such utterances. And denying teenagers contraceptives will only put their lives at risk of acquiring diseases and teenage pregnancies; therefore, they should be allowed to access such to prevent those regrets.
Those who were in support of Miss Nakhumicha’s opinion had their views noted, saying that parents are the cause of all these problems, and if only the parents could be strict enough to guide their children and educate them on such, they wouldn’t be needing access to condoms.
Others said that allowing teenagers to use contraceptives will not only allow them to engage freely in premarital sex but also expose them to sex assaults like rape by sex offenders who know very well they’ll use contraceptives.
Compared to other countries like the United States, contraceptives are allowed to be given to teenagers, but the question that has always been asked is whether a parent should be notified before or after the contraceptive has been issued.
The motion has since been left for discussion before being declared to be given or not.
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