Posted 19th February, 2013
The meeting is occurring at the George Price Center. We are talking about a draft legislation for Sexual and Reproductive Health Legislation for adolescence. I shared that it interesting to see that we are still talking about sexual and reproductive health of adolescence after three decades of independence.We seem to be willing to negotiate away the rights of individuals , especially for women based on moral and cultural position. Antoinette Moore shared that the right to life is about survival and development and means quality of life but when asked it was acknowledged that male age of consent for males is blurred and not equal to the age of consent for females which is 16.
The present Bill triggered concerns around the age of consent being raised to the age of 18, but there was no consensus on the issue. The current bill will remain gender-neutral and modification to address emergency contraceptives were added. Discussions taking place include ensuring that health providers have discretion to treat a persons with a sexually transmitted disease or provide an HIV test should a person walk in to the health services, is inclusive of persons who maybe living in a dangerous circumstance like sexual and physical violence whether 14 our not. The worry is that, should a person need parental consent and is experiencing violence or living in a homophobic family would not have access to health services is important for young L.G.B.T individuals.
The story was shared that for those who are married a doctor told a women that she needed to get the consent of the husband regarding a tie-off. The was another experience shared where the women had 5 children, but to the doctor said to the women she is too young to get a tie-off. Both stories indicate that women still do not have control over their bodies.
Discussion centered around H.F.L.E. and it was pointed out that the results of the Peace Corp manual was the result of teachers asking for new materials. It was reported that their are already law that schools teach comprehensive education, but its not being followed in practice. The present draft language is sufficient that it covers adolescent L.G.B.T concerns. It certainly has work to be revised, but see, to be a good start.