Kenya Activists Re-Launch Campaign to Dump Pro-Life Law Banning Abortions

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 13, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kenya Activists Re-Launch Campaign to Dump Pro-Life Law Banning Abortions

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 13
, 2008

Nairobi, Kenya ( — Abortion activists in Kenya have re-launched their campaign to overturn pro-life laws that prohibit abortions there. The Kenya Coalition on Violence Against Women is behind the effort to present abortion as a woman’s right and as a right to basic health care.

Grace Maingi Kimani tells the African Science News service that she hopes to generate more support for the Maputo protocol, an African regional document which mentions female genital mutilation, but also promotes abortion.

Kenya officials have signed on to the document that heads of state at an African Union summit approved, though the majority of African nations have not ratified the protocol.

Some officials support changing the laws on abortions because of claims of as many as 300,000 illegal abortions annually that supposedly injure 20,000 women each year.

Pro-life groups continue to fight efforts to legalize abortion and Jean Kaggi, the chair of the Protecting Life Movement of Kenya, says more should be done to make family planning facilities available to women who are sexually active and to encourage abstinence.

Polls have shown Kenya citizens are strongly opposed to legalizing abortion.

A previous poll the Pew Research firm conducted in October 2006 asked respondents whether they believed abortion was always justified, sometimes justified, or never justified.
People living in Kenya broke down into a 0/11/88 percentage split on those categories.

Pew also asked residents of each of the nations a biased question about whether "the government should not interfere with a woman’s ability to have an abortion."

Citizens of Kenya were most likely to say they disagree with the statement.