Abortion ‘is homicide’: Kenyan bishops criticize proposed bill
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NAIROBI, Kenya, June 24, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Abortion “is homicide,” the bishops of Kenya told Catholic members of parliament and legislators of good will as the chamber considers an abortion bill.
The teaching of the Church on abortion “has never wavered,” they said. “The life of the unborn is human life and its termination is homicide.”
“The proposed legislation goes against the teaching of the Gospel,” the bishops wrote. “It is a bill against the Constitution, against the right to life and against the protection of children and of the family.”
According to the bishops, the wording of the bill “is [deliberately] ambiguous,” speaking of “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, when in fact it simply wishes to introduce in Kenya unhealthy practices.”
“In the past, these words have been redefined by various UN agencies to encompass controversial sexual and abortion rights, including for young children,” the bishops explained.
The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops stated, “This Bill is a pathway to promoting a foreign agenda which insists that preventing unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions require States to adopt Policy measures” that are against Catholic teaching, including expanding the use of contraception.
In a separate statement, the bishops again strongly criticized the government for trying to introduce sex education in schools, as well advancing an abortion bill.
During a Mass broadcast by national television station KBC, Bishop Joseph Mbatia of Nyahururu, which is north of the capital of Nairobi, read a statement by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops addressing a wide variety of issues currently affecting the Kenyan faithful.
“We are totally opposed to those trying to introduce comprehensive sexual education in schools as a way of curbing teenage pregnancies. We are also opposed to the bill in the Senate on abortion,” the bishop said.
“Parents have the God-given privilege and obligation to bring forth life and to nurture every life they bring forth, especially in matters of virtues, values and character-building, including age appropriate human sexuality education,” he added.
He also urged parents to join in the bishops’ call to withdraw the abortion bill.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that direct abortion, “that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.”
“The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority,” the Catechism continues. “These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin.”
“Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death,” the Catholic Church emphasizes.
In addition to abortion and sex education, the bishops also pointed out “domestic violence, alcohol and substance abuse, defilement, and lack of basic necessities of life” as issues of concern, especially for children amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We must protect our children against all forms of exploitation,” said Bishop Mbatia.
“As Catholic bishops we strongly hold that safeguarding of all children is everyone’s responsibility,” he added. “We reiterate our [belief] that strong family values and personal responsibility on nurturing and safeguarding children can go a long way towards eradicating or significantly reducing child sexual exploitation and the resultant teenage pregnancies that scatter life goals of our dear children.”
The Catholic Church and pro-life movement in Kenya have been able to achieve some victories in the past.
In 2018, global abortion giant Marie Stopes was banned from offering any kind of abortion in the African nation.
In September 2018, Marie Stopes was instructed to desist from promoting its lethal services via Kenyan radio networks. The advertisements being run were seen by many as “drumming up” business for abortion with a direct appeal to teenage girls.
The advertisements were not only judged to be offensive in terms of taste in this deeply Christian country, but for some they also appeared to be undermining existing Kenyan law on abortion, which only permits abortion in the case of a threat to the life of the mother. Advertising for abortion is not permitted under Kenyan law and is also prohibited under local medical practitioner rules.
Thus, the breaching of the broadcast rules by Marie Stopes in September 2018 initiated an inquiry from Kenyan medical authorities. This resulted in a letter being sent on November 14 from the Kenyan Medical Practitioners Board to Marie Stopes stating that “Marie Stopes Kenya is hereby directed to immediately cease and desist offering any form of abortion services in all its facilities within the republic.”