Joe Biden Lends Support to Vote Process for Pro-Abortion Kenya Constitution
by Steven Ertelt
June 9, 2010
Nairobi, Kenya (LifeNews.com) — Vice President Joe Biden campaigned in Kenya today and, although he did not officially endorse the pro-abortion constitution Kenya citizens are considering this summer, he backed the process allowing its consideration. Kenya is one of many African nations that currently protects women and unborn children.
Biden urged the Kenyan government and its people to support the reforms the government wants to implement.
The government is currently supporting the constitution, which expresses support for the legal rights of children before birth but includes a health exception loophole that would essentially allow unlimited legal abortions.
In a speech at the Kenyatta International Conference Center in Nairobi during the second day of his visit, Biden re-affirmed President Barack Obama’s support for Kenya’s process of reviewing its newly proposed constitution.
He said reviewing the draft is a key component of foreign nations having diplomatic and economic ties with Kenya.
"We are hopeful, Barack Obama is hopeful, I am hopeful that you will carry out these reforms to allow money to flow," Biden said — which could prompt some people to support the constitution out or fear that the United States government will not support Kenya.
Knowing the Catholic Church and Protestant churches are opposing the constitution because of the pro-abortion provision, Biden said, "As you prepare to write a new history for your nation, resist those who try and divide you based on ethnicity, or religion, or region and above all, fear."
All Headline News indicated Biden was careful not to specifically endorse the constitution, telling his audience it was not "his business how Kenyans will vote" but using a similar slogan as the Obama presidential campaign in 2008 saying "change is within your grasp."
AHN reported that Biden said Obama is watching the vote closely and hopes to see the reforms implemented.
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 $10 million advocating the pro-abortion constitution in Kenya.
Obama himself has urged support for the constitution.
This week, the grassroots organizers of the No campaign started their effort in earnest. Their effort to stop approval of the constitution comes after polling data shows a majority of Kenyans support it.
Tom Namwamba told the Capital News that the No campaign will begin on Wednesday with a large event at the Red Card Center in Upper Hill.
I can assure you powerful statements will be made on that day, he said. We want Kenyans to know that they are in the trap if they accept the new constitution. We want to get them out of that trap."
Higher Education Minister William Ruto has become the de facto political leader of the No campaign but this grassroots effort will be more of a people’s response to the constitution, which contains language undermining Kenya’s history pro-life laws protecting women and unborn children.
We need Kenyans to know that the No team is not opposed to the new Constitution but what we are saying is we need a Constitution that measures to the expectations of all Kenyans, Namwamba told the Capital News. We need a Constitution that is people-based not government driven.
President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga are heading up the Yes campaign and say they want to get the constitution approved and pass amendments to it later.
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 20 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.
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.
Respondents were also asked about their views concerning the new Kenyan Constitution and the question found only 19 percent support it as currently written, while a majority, 52 percent, want Parliament to revise the document before passage.
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.
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