Parents, Priests fate hangs on prisons’ cliff over Anambra law on sickle cell marriage

Parents, Priests fate hangs on prisons’ cliff over Anambra law on sickle cell marriage

Parents and guardians who give out their children/wards living with sickle cell anaemia in marriage in Anambra State will now be liable for imprisonment. Also at risk of jail are Priests/pastors and marriage registries that would perform such Holy Matrimony involving persons living with sickle Cell disorder. This is just as the Anambra State House

Parents and guardians who give out their children/wards living with sickle cell anaemia in marriage
in Anambra State will now be liable for imprisonment.

Also at risk of jail are Priests/pastors and marriage registries that would perform such Holy Matrimony involving persons living with sickle Cell disorder.

This is just as the Anambra State House of Assembly, has outlawed marriages involving people living with sickle cell anaemia.

The law, which is known as Sickle Cell Disease Control and Eradication Repeal law seeks to eradicate sickle cell anaemia in the state and set those living with it free from all kinds of oppression, abuse and exploitation.

The bill which was passed on Tuesday was sponsored by the member representing Anaocha II constituency, Charles Ezeani and 15 others.

It barred parents, guardians or group of persons from giving out their children/wards in marriages without verification of a qualified sickle cell disease prevention certificate.

According to the provisions of the bill, no religious body or marriage registry “shall perform Holy Matrimony” without first demanding and obtaining sickle cell disease prevention certificate from intending couples.

It further stated that, “anybody who contravenes the provisions of this section shall be guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N200,000 or imprisonment to a term of three years or both”.

The law put in place a monitoring committee to ensure its compliance.

The sponsor of the bill, Hon. Ezeani, described it as life-saving, adding that the development would put  a stop to the notion “that love is blind” by ensuring that intending couples must present their genotype test before marriage.

He commended the Speaker of the State Assembly, Mrs Rita Maduagwu, and other members of the Assembly for being the first to pass such health-enhancement bill into law in the country.

Reacting to the passage of the bill, the National Coordinator of People Living with Sickle Cell Anaemia, Aisha Edwards, thanked the lawmakers for enacting a law that would protect the sickle cell patients from all forms of discrimination and marginalisation in the State.

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