Obama Admin May Have Illegally Spent $10 Million Promoting Abortion in Kenya
by Steven Ertelt
May 26, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — New information obtained by a member of Congress makes it appear the Obama administration has spent $10 million potentially illegally promoting a pro-abortion constitution in Kenya. Obama officials were thought to have spent $2 million but Rep. Chris Smith says that figure could exceed $10 million.
Lobbying for or against abortion is prohibited under a provision of federal law known as the Siljander Amendment annually included in the State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Act.
The amendment reads, None of the funds made available under this Act may be used to lobby for or against abortion, and violations are subject to civil and criminal penalties under the Antideficiency Act, 31 U.S.C. § 1341."
Smith, the leading Republican on the House Africa and Global Health Subcommittee, and two other members of Congress have called for a probe into the Obama administration’s spending in support of a campaign to get the pro-abortion constitution approved in Kenya in August.
The three sent a May 6 letter to the Inspectors General at the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development seeking a probe.
Today, Smith’s office informed LifeNews.com that subsequent information uncovered by investigators has revealed that actual U.S. taxpayer expenditures in support of the pro-abortion constitution are estimated to exceed $10 million.
This week I learned that U.S. taxpayer expenditures in support of the proposed constitution may exceed $10 millionfive times the level we original suspected," Smith said.
This massive spending will undoubtedly be directed to those entities that are pressing for ratification of the proposed constitution. Such support will further enable passage of a constitution that is opposed by many pro-life leaders in Kenya, because it enshrines new rights to abortion. As such, the funding is a clear violation of federal law against use of U.S. taxpayer funds to lobby for or against abortion, Smith explained.
He added, Learning of significant additional U.S. donations gives even more urgency to our request for thorough and objective investigations into all State Department and USAID funded activities related to Kenyas proposed constitution. I hope that all investigative agencies will take our request seriously and act swiftly in this matter."
As LifeNews.com reported, US Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger called last month on the African nation’s political leaders to rally the people to pass the referendum.
Smith authored the May 6 letter with Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, the Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Rep. Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee.
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.
He also suggested the Obama administration would fund a national campaign to persuade the people to adopt the document.
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 or August.
Kenyas current constitution includes no reference to abortion and abortion is not legally permitted in Kenya except to save the life of the mother," the pro-life Republican lawmakers said.
They added that any expression of support for or opposition to the proposed new constitution (including by drafting, offering technical advice or providing foreign assistance of any kind that is designed to influence public approval in the upcoming plebiscite) unavoidably involves lobbying for or against abortion."
The letter went to Gene L. Dodaro, Acting Comptroller General of the U.S. Government Accountability Office; Harold W. Geisel, Acting Inspector General, U.S. Department of State, Office of Inspector General, and to; Donald A. Gambatesa, Inspector General of the U.S. Agency for International Development.
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