NAIROBI, October 4, 2001 ( – A Government report suggests the legalization of abortion in Kenya. A team appointed by the Health Standards and Regulatory Services Department, argues social and medical evidence outweighs the “perceived moral and legal need for retaining the (anti-abortion) law in our books”.

Nairobi’s The Nation relates that the report utilized the typical pro-abortion rhetoric of backstreet abortions to justify the recourse to legal abortion. The report also noted the proposal was made “in accordance with international trends”. The report is to be discussed next month at a national health services conference at the Kenya College of Communications Technology in Mbagathi.

International pressure on Kenya to allow abortion and contraception to further population control has been fierce. The pressure reached a climax in 1999. In reaction the Catholic Church in Kenya noted in August that the United Nations Population Fund was exerting pressure on the country, attempting to impose abortion, contraception and sex education regimes. Bishop Nicodemus Kirima, the head of the Nyeri Catholic Archdiocese stressed the seriousness of the international pressure. Speaking at St Mary’s Boys Secondary School he said that the Church’s stand on contraception would never change “even if one was to be killed for opposing condom use”. Bishop Kirima urged chastity and said sex-ed would exacerbate the spread of AIDS since it “would open floodgates to irresponsible and immoral youths.”

Kenyans deplore the negative effects of this international pressure. Dr. Margaret Ogola, Executive Director of the Family Life Counseling Association of Kenya and Medical Director for Cottolenga Hospice for HIV-positive orphans, has said the distribution of millions of condoms which have an “about 30% failure rate” have not only caused disease but have also broken down delicate tribal taboos against promiscuous sexual behavior. Speaking in November 1999 at the World Congress of Families in Geneva, she noted that Western propaganda has convinced millions of young Africans that sex with condoms is “safe sex.”“The disbelief and shock in the reaction of young people when I tell them they have AIDS is heart-breaking. ‘But it was SAFE sex!’, they tell me,” said Dr. Ogola in an interview.

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