By Hilary White
LONDON, August 12, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As of this writing, placing the terms “President Mwai Kibaki” and “abortion” into an online news search produces no results from the mainstream news media. This is due, says a leading international pro-life advocate, to the complete “media blackout” on comments by the Kenyan head of state dismissing any possibility of legalising abortion in his country.
According to a report from a doctor who was present at the installation of the new Catholic bishop of Kitui, President Kibaki said at the event that he “saw no reason, now, or in the future, why anyone would want to legalize abortion in Kenya.”
This unequivocal statement has met with no media interest even in local media in Kenya, where a “Reproductive Health and Rights Bill” proposes to legalise abortion in the east African nation for the first time.
Mutula Kilonzo, Minister for Nairobi Metropolitan Development, also spoke of the bill, saying that if it reached Parliament, he would marshal the parliamentary forces to “shoot the bill down.”
One of the world’s leading pro-life activists, John Smeaton, the London-based director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said he received the news of the President’s statement by a telephone call from Dr. Stephen Karanja, a retired consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist. Dr. Karanja, who was also secretary of the Kenya Medical Association, had also attended the August 9 installation where, he said, the bill was denounced by the Cardinal Archbishop of Nairobi as a calculated attack on the Kenyan people.
John Cardinal Njue told the large crowd that the bill is an “affront to humanity of everybody and, especially, to the integrity of the human being.”
According to Dr. Karanja, Cardinal Njue went on to say “that a country [is going mad] if it starts killing its youth – because in children the country has the seed for its future. He said that if any government, including President Kibaki’s government, were to enact such a law, they would be acting against the people of Kenya.”
Cardinal Njue has also said those promoting the bill are “slaves of foreign ideologies and policies that are devoid of Christianity.” He said that life is sacred and “so nobody has authority to terminate it.”
In addition to the president and many high ranking Catholic dignitaries, also in attendance were two ministers, and at least five members of the Kenyan Parliament.
The majority Christian country – Kenya’s population is 45 percent Protestant and 33 percent Roman Catholic and approximately 10 percent Muslim – is among a group of African nations fighting the ongoing attempt by foreign aid agencies to legalise abortion as part of the population control movement. John Smeaton was instrumental in organising a united resistance to this pressure from the United Nations aid and development agencies in the 1990s and maintains close ties to pro-life advocates around the world.
Efforts to legalise abortion and impose western-style secularised values on Kenya are not new. While the country enjoys a total fertility rate of 4.7 children born per woman, its many social and economic problems, including a high rate of HIV/AIDS and high rate of infant mortality, leave it vulnerable to pressure from western aid agencies.
In August 1999, sources in the Catholic Church reported that the United Nations Population Fund was exerting pressure on the country, attempting to impose abortion, contraception and sex education regimes.
In 2001, a government report, using the language typical of the international population control and abortion promoters, recommended that Kenya drop its legal opposition to abortion.
In 2003, speaking at the launch of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (Africa Region) Strategic Plan, Kenya’s then-minister of Health, Charity Ngilu, said the government wanted to “lead a public debate” geared to decriminalizing abortion. “I personally feel the continued denial of women to make free choice on their reproductive health life is wrong and the policy should be reformed to allow that freedom,” the minister said.
In 2005, at a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, international “experts” pressured the Kenyan delegates to explain that country’s refusal to allow abortion and to encourage acceptance of homosexuality.
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
International Pressure Causes Kenya to Consider Legal Abortion
United Nations Human Rights Committee Pushes Kenya to Legalize Abortion and Homosexuality