By Gudrun Schultz

Kenyan Women NAIROBI, Kenya, July 25, 2006 ( – Kenyan police arrested eight women and a staff member of a Nairobi clinic July 23, on suspicion that the women were there to obtain abortions, reported Nairobi’s The Nation yesterday.

  Abortion is illegal in the country, unless the mother’s life is at risk. A woman found guilty of procuring an abortion is liable to imprisonment for seven years, and a person convicted of aiding or performing abortions can be sentenced to 14 years imprisonment.

  Police said the women were found within the clinic, allegedly awaiting the completion of the abortion process. One woman escaped arrest, police said, fleeing the building through a back exit.

  Local residents had reported the estate-housed clinic to police division leader Joseph Mwamburi, saying pregnant women were routinely “losing” their pregnancies after disappearing into the estate for some days.

  The women would be taken to Kenyatta National Hospital for treatment, the police told reporters, and then taken to court for official charges.

  A Nairobi doctor and two nurses were charged with 15 counts of murder in 2004, after the bodies of aborted babies were discovered near the Uhuru Highway. The Kenyan medical community has been divided over abortion, with some key members supporting illegal efforts of the UN Population Fund and International Planned Parenthood Federation to establish abortion access in the country.

  A clinic sponsored by the UN Population Fund, the Marie Stopes Kenya, admitted in 2004 to providing illegal abortions to Kenyan women.

  Abortion and women’s rights activists have increasingly pressured the Kenyan Government to overturn the country’s ban on abortion. A powerful lobby led by the country’s Catholic and Muslim communities, however, has so far countered the efforts of foreign and domestic abortion advocates to change the law.

  See related LifeSiteNews coverage:

  United Nations Human Rights Committee Pushes Kenya to Legalize Abortion and Homosexuality

“Abortion Is Wrong” says Nobel Peace Prize Winner Maathai

  United Nations Sponsored Women’s Clinic in Kenya Admits to Illegal Abortions

  Kenya Faces Looming Abortion Battle

  Abortion Advocates Clash with Pro-life Group at Nairobi Court