YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon, October 25, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Parents, government and Catholic Church leaders in Kenya are appalled by claims that abortion NGO Marie Stopes dispensed chemical contraceptives to Catholic high school students — including the dangerous Norplant birth control device — without informing parents.
Representatives from Marie Stopes International — the London-based organization with its stated mission of “providing contraception and safe abortion to women in urban and rural communities all over the world” — were given access to students at Archbishop Boniface Lele Secondary School in the Diocese of Kitui with no faculty or staff present, CRUX reported.
The abortion group’s agents had been invited to the Catholic school on October 11 to observe the World Day of the Girl Child.
Students say Marie Stopes representatives dispersed contraceptive pills and implanted several students with Norplant — hormone-carrying, matchstick-sized birth control rods placed under a female’s skin that are reportedly effective for up to five years.
The Catholic students were between the ages of 14 and 17.
The school’s principal said the Marie Stopes group came recommended by the local government and that they were accompanied by county health workers and presumed to be speaking about general health issues. He said he was not aware of the pro-contraception plan.
Munanie Muusya’s daughter had a Norplant device inserted in her arm. She called on the government to take action against Marie Stopes.
“We are shocked that this was allowed to happen,” Muusya had told the Daily Nation. “What those people did will encourage our young girls to be careless and engage in unprotected sex. They can easily contract sexually transmitted diseases.”
The diocese’s education secretary said what happened was “scandalous and criminal.”
Father Julius Muthamba is demanding a full account from the school on how this happened.
“The Catholic Church’s strong stand against contraceptives is widely known. It’s sad that this happened within a school we sponsor but more fundamentally the negative effect — spoiling the girls morally,” he said.
Local Senator Enoch Wambua called this a “grave matter,” saying it was “unacceptable” for contraceptives to be given to minors without their parents’ consent.
Wambua pointed out that neither parents nor government officials were permitted to visit students in schools because students were preparing for exams. He called for an investigation by Kenya’s education ministry and for the office to bring charges against Marie Stopes.
Abortion is illegal in Kenya except when the mother’s life is at risk. Contraception, though, is broadly available and used, and also promoted by the government.
Some 66 percent of women in Kenya use contraception, according to CRUX, where less than 20 percent of women in Africa do overall. Even so, an estimated 43 percent of pregnancies in Kenya are not planned.
Marie Stopes — the largest “family planning” provider in Kenya — has worked there since the 1980s. The group advocates for the African country to change its abortion laws.
Kenya has been an ongoing target by contraception activists, with Kenyan bishops having criticized contraception promotion by outside forces.
In 2014, Kenya’s bishops accused two groups working on behalf of the United Nations — the World Health Organization and UNICEF — with sterilizing millions of girls and women under the guise of a tetanus shot program. The U.N. groups denied the charge.
The bishops had called for a government investigation of the vaccine program and remained leery even though later tests failed to show the suspected sterilizing agent.