African Media Outlets Black Out Kenya Leader’s Comments Against Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 11, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

African Media Outlets Black Out Kenya Leader’s Comments Against Abortion

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 11
, 2008

Nairobi, Kenya ( — The president of the African nation Kenya spoke out last week against proposals to legalize abortion there, but people getting their news from the mainstream media there would never know. President Mwai Kibaki ruled out the possibility of legalizing abortion but the media never picked up on the news.

Kibaki made the comments during the installation of a new Catholic bishop in eastern Nigeria.

Dr. Stephen Karanja, a retired consultant obstetrician and gynecologist and former secretary of the Kenya Medical Association, shared the statement with John Smeaton, the head of the British pro-life group SPUC.

Karanja said, during the event, Cardinal John Njue talked about the position of the Catholic Church on the draft Reproductive Health and Rights Bill that was introduced last month but hasn’t yet been officially presented to the Kenyan Parliament.

“The Cardinal said that the Bill was unacceptable. It was an affront to humanity of everybody and, especially, to the integrity of the human being," Karanja said.

“Cardinal Njue said that a country [is going mad] if it starts killing its youth – because in children the country has the seed for its future," Karanja added. "He said that if any government, including President Kibaki’s government, were to enact such a law, they would be acting against the people of Kenya."

President Kibaki responded to the speech and, according to Karanja, said "he saw no reason, now, or in the future, why anyone would want to legalize abortion in Kenya.”

Smeaton wrote on his blog that Mutula Kilonzo, Minister for Nairobi Metropolitan Development, also spoke the draft of the pro-abortion bill. He said that, if it reached Parliament, he would marshal the parliamentary forces to defeat it.

Smeaton also complained that the statements were "virtually ignored by the Kenyan media."

The stance of the Kenyan leaders is important because abortion advocates have been targeting it and other nations to legalize abortions.

In June 2007, leaders of ten African nations where abortions are illegal called on their countries to allow abortions. Kenyan Vice President Moody Awori led the group of political leaders at a news conference.


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