‘Dehumanizing’ and ‘insulting’: Kenya Bishops slam Melinda Gates’ contraception plan for Africa
NAIROBI, Kenya, July 31, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Catholic Bishops of Kenya have collectively slammed a pro-contraception article that appeared in the country’s Africa Review earlier this month as “dangerous” saying that it could “lead to destruction of the human society and by extension the human race.”
“We cannot allow our country to be part of an international agenda, driven by foreign funds and by so doing, losing our independence and our African values of the family and society,” wrote John Cardinal Njue, chairman of the Kenya Episcopal Conference of Bishops in a letter titled Let us Uphold Human Dignity.
The article that the Bishops wrote against, titled “Kenya joins global birth control push”, mentioned that Kenya is among the countries that have “signed up to a new $4.2 billion (Sh356 billion) drive to promote family planning services”, adding that leaders of more than 20 developing countries made “bold commitments” to address “financing and delivery barriers” that women face who seek contraceptive services and supplies.
The article also mentioned that Planning minister Wycliffe Oparanya attended a summit in the U.K. as part of the World Population Day where the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, co-hosts of the event, “underscored the importance of access to contraceptives as both a right and a transformational health and development priority.”
But the country’s Catholic Bishops made it clear that they would have nothing to do with the “artificial family planning programme” by “foreign forces”.
“[T]he use of contraceptives […] is both dehumanizing and goes against the teaching of the church, especially in a country like Kenya where a majority of the people are Christians and God fearing. It already threatens the moral fabric of the society and is an insult to the dignity and integrity of the human person.”
The Catholic Bishops urged all Kenyans and the country’s government leaders that “any development which does not protect the human person is meaningless and in vain.”
The Bishops slammed the program for targeting millions of girls and women in Africa with contraception while “many women are dying daily due to lack of proper medical care, food and housing.”
The Bishops point out that there are other “efficient ways of proactive and Responsible Parenthood through the practice of Natural Family Planning” that do not contradict the “centrality of the human person”.
“This of course demands discipline through abstinence, which is a necessary value in married life. This should not be rubbished as impossible,” they wrote
“Nobody should be forced to abuse his/her dignity through contraceptives”, the Bishops conclude.
Melinda Gates’ recently-launched campaign to distribute contraceptives to African women has come under attack by critics who say that it is based on “an unfounded and second-rate understanding” of the issue.
Italian journalist Giulia Galeotti called (http://www.lifesitenews.com/resources/birth-control-and-disinformation-the-risks-of-philanthropy) the Gates’ plan “off-target” and suggested that the people running it were “confused by bad information and by the stereotypes that persist regarding this topic [of family planning].”
Galeotti suggested that Gates must be unaware of the reliability of existing family planning methods that are entirely natural, such as the Billings Ovulation Method, which is not only moral in the mind of the Catholic Church, but is also completely free in that in involves no plastics or costly drugs.
“Using this method, women can know if they are fertile or not, and based on that, can choose their sexual behavior,” wrote Galeotti, adding that the communist government of Peking promoted the method of regulating births that “cost nothing and didn’t damage the health of the woman, a method considered 98% reliable.”