Obama Administration Pressures Kenya to Adopt Constitution Legalizing Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
April 7, 2010
Nairobi, Kenya (LifeNews.com) — President Barack Obama wasted little time after his election in promoting abortion abroad by overturning the Mexico City Policy and forcing Americans to pay for abortions and abortion promotion in other nations. Now the Obama administration is attempting to get Kenya to legalize abortion.
As LifeNews.com has reported, the African nation of Kenya saw its parliament approved a draft Constitution that would overturn its historic prohibition on abortions.
Although the draft contains language advocating the right to life for unborn children, it contains a section with a health exception that essentially opens the nation to unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy for any reason.
Before the revised constitution can come into force, it must be approved by popular vote — expected in July.
While pro-life groups have been working directly with local pro-life advocates in Kenya to urge the nation’s residents to reject the proposed constitution when it comes up for a vote, the Obama administration is working for its adoption.
US Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger is calling on Kenya’s political leaders to rally the people to pass the referendum.
According to the Capital News service, Ranneberger issued a statement praising the Kenya parliament for passing the proposed constitution and urging President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to rally support for it.
“The leaders of the coalition government have sent a clear and positive message to the Kenyan people that the implementation of a new Constitution is critical to achieving political reform,” the Obama administration official said.
“We urge the leaders of the coalition government, civil society, and religious leaders to maintain positive momentum as Kenya moves towards a national referendum on the draft Constitution,” he added. “Unity in support of the draft will bring the Kenyan people together and establish a framework which will greatly improve prospects for democratic stability and shared prosperity for all Kenyans.”
Ranneberger also responded to the pro-abortion concerns international and local pro-life advocates have brought up — suggesting the people of Kenya accept the constitution regardless.
“No political process and no constitution is perfect – including those of the United States – but the proposed Constitution contains checks and balances which will ensure greater accountability and adherence to the rule of law.”
“The new Constitution will, therefore, secure and protect the interests of all communities and regions of the country,” he said.
Ranneberger also suggested the Obama administration would fund a national campaign to persuade the people to adopt the document.
Meanwhile, Joseph Meaney of Human Life International weighed in on the debate today and said the constitution violates the views of most Kenyans who are pro-life.
"Kenyans are pro-life," he said. "When we see the new articles added to the constitution and approved by parliament under heavy pressure from Western elites, we are seeing an assault on the very heart of the Kenyan people."
"Perhaps the greatest insult is that this attack is happening under the banner of ‘improving women’s health’. The only ones who believe that killing an unborn child is good for a woman’s health are those who will profit from the slaughter, Western powers who are pouring untold millions of dollars into measures to keep Africa’s children from being born," he told LifeNews.com.
"This is nothing but population control, an imperialist assault intended to rob Africa of its future by eliminating her children. It is a disgrace," he said.
Meaney called on Kenya’s civic and religious leaders to wake up to the urgency of the matter, imploring that they reach out to all Kenyans ahead of the referendum, and lead them in demanding that human life be protected from the point of conception in Kenya’s constitution.
A poll conducted March 21–26 by the polling firm Synovate, formerly known as Steadman, shows the citizens of Kenya are overwhelmingly pro-life.
“Thinking about abortion, which of the following is closest to your view?” the firm asked respondents.
Some 69 percent of Kenya residents are against legalizing abortions while just 9 percent support it. Another 16 percent say it doesn’t matter while 6 percent said they had no opinion.
Answering the question, “When do you believe human life begins?” 77 percent of Kenyans stated that life begins at conception, while 19 percent stated that human life begins at the time of birth.
Respondents were also asked about their views concerning the new Kenyan Constitution and the question found only 19 percent support it as currently written, while a majority, 52 percent, want Parliament to revise the document before passage.
Scott Fischbach, the director of MMCL Go, an international pro-life outreach, provided the polling results to LifeNews.com.
"Currently, advocates of abortion are using the issue of maternal mortality and illegal abortions to argue for legalization of the procedure. However, the answer to illegal abortions and high maternal mortality rates is very simple: provide hope, opportunity and support for pregnant women by insuring a clean water supply, clean blood supply and adequate health care," he said.
"Kenya is a pro-life country and ought not to head toward an abortion-on-demand policy in its new Constitution," he added.
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