Obama’s Push to Legalize Abortion in Kenya Broke U.S. Law

Opinion   Scott Fischbach   Dec 16, 2011   |   11:36AM    Washington, DC

I want to update you on Pres. Obama’s promotion of abortion in Kenya. The Obama Administration used $18 million in taxpayer funds to provide funding for a group pushing legalized abortion in Kenya violated federal law, an investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found.

The report by the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, shows at least one Obama grantee openly pushed to expand abortion in Kenya despite the Siljander Amendment, a longstanding, annually renewed law that prohibits U.S. tax dollars from being used to lobby for or against abortion in other countries.

The GAO report also reveals that a key Obama official stonewalled investigators and refused to cooperate with the GAO in its investigation of the activities initiated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department during Kenya’s 2010 constitutional referendum.

“The Obama Administration basically hired surrogates to do its dirty work of abortion promotion in Kenya,” said Congressman Chris Smith, a pro-life New Jersey Republican who chairs the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights.

“U.S. policy on international constitutional reform is, by law, supposed to be abortion-neutral,” Smith said. “This new report shows that at a minimum the Obama Administration ignored the prohibition with the end result being a new Kenyan constitution that vastly expands access to abortion in Kenya, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.”

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“That a high-ranking official in the Obama Administration, Under-Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero, chose not to cooperate with the GAO as they uncovered procedural and funding problems begs for further investigation and review,” Smith said.

The GAO indicates that the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), which was funded by USAID, provided advice “on the issues of fetal rights and abortion, though the draft had not mentioned either issue at this point. Specifically, the IDLO report advised that the COE (Kenya’s Committee of Experts that drafted the new Constitution) might consider adding language to make clear that the fetus lacks constitutional standing, and that the rights of women under these articles therefore take priority. IDLO also provided examples of countries whose courts have held that fetal rights to life serve as a partial barrier to the ability of national legislatures to protect … the legal right of access to abortion.”

In its report, GAO also quoted IDLO as advising the Kenyans that “[I]n the coming years, the Kenyan Parliament may wish to take such measures. One way to handle this would be to modify [the Constitution] to make clear that a person is a human being who has been born.”

“The IDLO communications to the Kenyans introduced the abortion issue into the constitutional debate, ‘advised’ the Kenyans to include language in the constitution that clearly supported the legalization of abortion, and expressed opposition to later proposed language that would have restricted access to abortion,” Smith explained. “If this isn’t lobbying, what is?”

LifeNews.com Note:  Scott Fischbach is the executive director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life and heads its international outreach MCCL Go.