by Steven Ertelt
May 27, 2010
Nairobi, Kenya (LifeNews.com) — Christian churches have united in Kenya in opposition to a proposed constitution scheduled for a national referendum on August 4 and have taken a leading role in the No campaign.
The constitution includes a new ”’health’ exception on abortion which changes current law and will likely open the door to abortion on demand.
That’s because the definition of “health” will likely include the broad social and economic factors used by the US Supreme Court in 1973 to authorize unlimited abortions and by the World Health Organization.
The Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues has been in contact with pro-life leaders in Kenya and tells LifeNews.com the public education campaign is underway.
PNCI Director Marie Smith, said, “The formal government education campaign which leads the ”’Yes’ side is underway led by the Committee of Experts (CoE)”” the very body that inserted the pro-abortion language into the proposed constitution. A number of members of this committee are known to support the legalization of abortion.”
The committee has been openly hostile to the churches as the churches conduct their own educational campaign encouraging a ”’No” vote and it has responded in a strong and heavy handed way, Smith says.
A KBC report indicates the committee warned the section of the Kenyan church opposed to the constitution against alleged attempts to bar its staff from accessing churchgoers during the exercise saying “they risk prosecutions as the committee is the sole organ mandated by law to carry out civic education in the country.”
PNCI tells LifeNews.com that, in addition to the efforts by churches, pro-life advocates are conducting a grassroots campaign making wide use of the Internet to communicate and coordinate their actions and by appearances on TV shows, radio, and in public forums.
“The government refused to address pro-life concerns when it could and instead allowed a 9 member committee to insert the pro-abortion language,” Smith states.
She continues, “Opposition is now coming from every sector. Women’s organizations have spoken out against the abortion language which allows any health professional to determine if a woman should have access to abortion for the exceptions of health or life. The women argue that the proposed set of laws ignores many women issues and does not address issues important to the lives of Kenyan women.”
One of the women leading opposition to the constitution is Women Empowerment Society executive director Ms Rebecca Kitana who stated, “We realize that this document has so many foreign ideologies, very little on African values that our future generations could embrace.”
Smith also points to a recent lower Court ruling against another controversial provision of the constitution dealing with the establishment of a Kadhis Court. She said it has been appealed by Kenya’s Attorney General Amos Wako — who says that the decision will have not impact on the referendum or proposed constitution.
The campaign has caught the attention of pro-life members of Congress, who accuse the Obama administration of spending as much as $10 million, illegally, to support the Yes campaign on the constitution.
Anna Zaborska, member of the European Parliament from Slovakia, has similar concerns and submitted Questions to the European Parliament and the European Commission about involvement of the EU delegation in Kenya, who also supports the ”’Yes’ campaign.
Zaborska’s questions demand a response following EU procedure. The EU Head of Delegation in Kenya, Eric van der Linden, said that the EU would not consider funding the ”’No’ camp for civic education but would fund the ”’Yes’ campaign.
Related web sites:
Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues – http://www.PNCIUS.org