Kenya Minister Presses Forward With Push to Remove Pro-Abortion Provisions

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 6, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kenya Minister Presses Forward With Push to Remove Pro-Abortion Provisions

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 6
, 2010

Nairobi, Kenya (LifeNews.com) — A top government official who was the de facto leader of the No campaign against the draft constitution in Kenya is pressing forward with a push to get the government of the African nation to remove the provisions allowing abortions from the document Kenyans approved in August.

Kenya has long protected women and unborn children but the zeal for a new constitution overtook concerns about preventing abortions.

The Yes campaign, spearheaded by government officials, prevailed on a 69 to 31 percentage point margin over the No campaign, which Higher Education Minister William Ruto, Catholic churches and the Kenya Christian Church supported.

Now, Ruto is pressing for the government officials who promised minority views would be included with potential amendments, such as removing the language allowing abortions, to allow votes on them.

Speaking at a Pentecostal church, Ruto said he and other No campaigners support the implementation of the constitution but the amendments are needed, according to Capital News.

"We are one people… it is now our collective responsibility and business to implement the new Constitution and as we do so through legislation remove the contentious areas, and ambiguous areas so that we can have a new Constitution that is improved and serves the collective interests of the people of Kenya and we can do this together as a nation" he said.

He called on the President and the Prime Minister to lead MPs to move beyond the campaign and towards including the views of all Kenyans.

MPs Victor Munyaka and Silas Ruteree joined his call and dismissed opinion polls showing public opinion of the churches in lower standing following the August constitution vote.

Munyaka said the Kenyan people would support the amendments because, even with the Yes vote, they know what the problems were with the document.

"The whole world knows what is bad in this document. Even God knows because you spoke out but I want you to continue praying so that we as the courageous MPs led by Ruto can push forward to have it cleaned," Capital News reported him saying.

Kamukunji MP Simon Mbugua and former Nyeri Town MP Wanyiri Kihoro also supported the call and said the government should not isolate the churches and the one-third of Kenyan voters who opposed the draft.

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.

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

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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