Kenya Poll Has Majority Backing Constitution Despite Abortion Promotion
by Steven Ertelt
June 4, 2010
Nairobi, Kenya (LifeNews.com) — Though the overwhelming majority of Kenya residents are pro-life on abortion, and despite the fact that the draft Constitution would overturn the country’s pro-life laws, a new poll shows the majority of the residents of the eastern African nation will vote yes on the national referendum.
Voters are expected to head to the polls on August 4 to decide if they favor the draft Constitution, which contains loopholes allowing unlimited abortion.
Kenyan Christian Church leaders and the National Council of Churches of Kenya have led a campaign against the constitution over the pro-abortion provisions.
However, the Daily Nation newspaper reports market research firm Synovate released a new poll on Friday showing 57 percent of Kenyans will support the pro-abortion constitution while just 02 percent say they will reject it.
Approximately 19 percent of those polled still have no opinion or are undecided and four percent said they do not plan to vote.
The newspaper indicated many of those opposed to the constitution cited the abortion concerns and even half of those who took part in the survey said there may need to be amendments after the fact to fix problems like abortion.
The Daily Nation said the results showed people who closely identify with different political leaders have different levels of support for the document.
Some 74 percent of Prime Minister Raila Odingas supporters back the Constitution while 68 percent of Higher Education minister William Rutos loyalists oppose it. And ODM party supporters are more likely to back the constitution than PNU supporters.
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.
Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues director Marie Smith told LifeNews.com, Regrettably, this final draft contains some of the most deceptive and dangerous language on abortion ever seen in a constitution."
"It presents constitutional protection for the unborn child by acknowledging in section 26 on Right to Life that ‘Every person has the right to life’ and that ‘The life of a person begins at conception,’" she explained. However, the next statement completely reverses protection for the unborn by allowing abortion when in the ‘opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law.’
Smith continues, The reversal of previous policy on abortion- which required the opinion of two medical doctors who agreed that abortion was necessary for the life of the mother will likely open the door to abortion on demand if the broad US definition of health is used in Kenya.
Before the revised constitution can come into force, it must be approved by popular vote.
A poll conducted March 2126 by 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.
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.
American lawmakers are seeking an investigation into the Obama administration to determine whether it violated federal law that says taxpayer dollars can’t be used to lobby for abortion in other nations. The Obama administration has reportedly spent $2 million advocating the pro-abortion constitution in Kenya.
Obama himself has urged support for the constitution.
Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com
Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.