Obama Administration Clears Itself on Illegally Lobbying for Abortion in Kenya
by Steven Ertelt
August 13, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Obama administration has cleared itself of illegally lobbying for abortion in Kenya when it spent $23 million financing groups participating in the Yes campaign supporting the draft constitution Kenyans approved earlier this month that would essentially allow unlimited abortions.
The State Department’s inspector general released a report Thursday specifically looking at whether United States Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger violated the law by endorsing the constitution.
Its review of documents both classified and unclassified said Ranneberger did not violate the Siljander amendment, a law making it so the United States is not allowed to lobby for or against abortion in other nations.
According to AllAfrica, the State Department inspectors report said they "did not find any evidence that US embassy officials made any private or public statements to Kenyan government officials, nongovernmental organizations (NGO), or any other actors expressing either a positive or negative position on the abortion provision in the draft Kenyan constitution."
The review did, however, find that some of Ranneberger’s public statements in April could be taken as "advocating for a ‘Yes’ vote" on the constitution itself.
It appears Ranneberger and the Obama administration were able to carefully avoid technically violating the law by saying they were supporting the voting process for the constitution in general and talking up the benefits of supporting it without specifically promoting the provisions in the document that will allow abortions and essentially go against the pro-life laws of the nation protecting women and unborn children.
All Africa indicated the report noted Ranneberger himself admitted he was "walking a fine line between advocating reform and voting ‘Yes’."
The State Department report also referenced a report USAID issued last month saying some of the $23 million went to groups promoting the pro-abortion constitution. It said Ranneberger said he did "not review the specific grant language and had been unaware of the specific wording" contained in the summaries of grants for the groups backing the constitution.
The conclusion of the new report comes even as the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation reported in late July that Ranneberger announced "his support for the proposed new constitution saying the document caters the needs of all Kenyans."
Before the vote, the media outlet said he is now "under heavy criticism from the ‘No’ camp for his open support for the proposed law."
The envoy said, "We have made it clear that a new constitution is absolutely essential for the future, security and prosperity of this great nation."
"As our Vice President said during his recent visit, the country will only attract foreign investments unless the country deals with issues of corruption. This will only come about with a new constitution in place," Ranneberger added, applying economic pressure to Kenyans to approve the document. "I therefore urge all Kenyans to take advantage of this opportunity. Kenya is poised at the most important moment of change since independence."
The investigation came in response to a request from three pro-life members of Congress who have aired concerns about the Obama administration’s support for the pro-abortion constitution and funding groups actively campaigning for it.
The new State Department report also denies the newly-approved Kenya constitution will undermine laws prohibiting abortion, even though it contains a health exception that will allow medical personnel to approve abortions whenever they feel appropriate.
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