Combating Myths and Misconceptions About Abortion and Reproductive Health Care

I am Julius Nyanda, an intern doctor and student leader of the MSFC chapter at Kabale University in Uganda.

Starting a chapter might always be challenging, especially in the African setting; however, believing in the cause is important.

Overcoming Challenges

We carried out many activities, from attempting curriculum reform to addressing the stigma against post-abortion care provision.

We’ve had trouble with on campus pro-life groups and continue to face this challenge. In a bid to surmount this challenge, through resources from MSFC and Catholics for Choice, we ran video screening sessions for a better understanding of our work and to clear the abortion myths while respecting religious affiliations. The screenings have been key in persuading many more members to join our movement.

The desire to address the many religious myths associated with abortion care provision and to win over the on campus pro-life groups who have been a great hinderance to our work is itself a big motivation, in addition to the significant interest in community transformation through advocacy.

Memorable Moments

Getting these groups to join the movement has been fulfilling because of the realization within these groups that joining the movement does not mean forfeiting one’s religious affiliation. We were similarly to disband some of the cultural beliefs.

The screenings add to our recruitment drive and earn us the confidence and community trust that is very important in furthering our advocacy work in reproductive health justice.

Many of our screenings have yet to be rolled out to the entire student community. Still, we intend to extend the opportunity in the future so that they all understand that religious affiliations should not be a hinderance to advocacy for choice.

Cultivating Change

By addressing the religious misconceptions and opposition, we will have a solid ground in furthering our advocacy work and, in the long run, reduce the stigma around abortion care.

Kabale University Library. Photo by Atuha, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0