Kenya Voting Results Show New Constitution Allowing Abortions Likely Winning

International   Steven Ertelt   Aug 4, 2010   |   9:00AM    WASHINGTON, DC

Kenya Voting Results Show New Constitution Allowing Abortions Likely Winning

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 4
, 2010

Nairobi, Kenya (LifeNews.com) — Voters in Kenya appear to have cast their ballots on Wednesday in favor of a new constitution that may quell some of the political violence the nation has experienced but would allow the violence of abortion. The vote was the subject of controversy as the Obama administration appeared to finance the Yes campaign.

With more than 60 percent of the ballots counted at 13,156 of 20,750 polling stations, unofficial results from the Daily Nation indicate 66 percent of Kenyans voted for the pro-abortion constitution while 34 percent voted no.

Some 12.5 million people were registered to vote,and more than 3.3 million appear to have voted for the constitution while 1.7 million voted against it. Reuters indicated there were long lines at many polling stations with the Rift Valley centers of Eldoret and Nakuru seeing especially heavy turnout.

William Ruto, a cabinet minister who led the No campaign, told Reuters he would accept the outcome.

"This is an historic moment in our country and I’m sure Kenyans will make the right decision," he told reporters. "Everyone has an obligation to accept the decision of the people of Kenya."

Leading pro-life and church groups both in Kenya and across the world, tried to educate voters that the new constitution would allow abortions.

“Many in the media are falsely reporting that the new constitution would not allow abortion except ‘where the life of the mother is in danger,’"Jeanne Head, the National Right to Life Vice President for International Affairs, told LifeNews.com. “The truth is actually the opposite.”

The language in the proposed constitution does not contain any meaningful restrictions on abortion, despite recognition of the right to life from conception.

Instead, Section 26 contains language which allows 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."

Head says this is a reversal of previous Kenyan law on abortion which required the opinion of two medical doctors who were in agreement that an abortion was necessary to save the life of the mother. She said the newly-proposed broad “health” exceptions in the proposed constitution would essentially mean abortion on demand.

She pointed out that a similar health exception was used in the United States Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions. Those rulings gave the United States a policy of legal abortion for virtually any reason throughout the entire length of pregnancy. The result has been the death of more than 52 million unborn children in the United States since 1973.

“If approved, the new constitution would legalize abortion in Kenya, which would dramatically increase the number of abortions and lead to more women hurt and unborn children killed, just as Roe v. Wade has done in the U.S.,” Head concluded.

Meanwhile, members of Congress in the United States have spoken out against the Obama administration’s spending $23 million supporting the pro-abortion constitution.

USAID has reported spending at least $23 million to promote the proposed constitution. The lawmakers questioned the legality of the spending, since current U.S. law bars funding to either advocate either for or against abortion, and the proposed document dramatically changes existing Kenyan abortion laws.

Even if the constitution is ultimately approved, voters will likely have cast ballots for it but not because they favor abortions.

A poll conducted March 21–26 by the polling firm 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.

Related web sites:
National Right to Life Committee – https://www.nrlc.org

 

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