U.S. aid to Kenya to push easing of abortion laws hit

Millions spent on new charter

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“Constitutional reform is central to the reform effort and is supported by both sides of Kenya’s coalition government,” she said. “The United States has been a strong supporter of the constitutional reform process and has funded programs throughout the country that promote dialogue, voter registration and civic education. We urge all Kenyans to educate themselves about the content of the constitution, take part peacefully in the referendum and move forward as a united nation.”

The executive branch itself has expressed support for the constitution. In a June interview with the Kenya Broadcasting Corp., Mr. Obama called the proposed document a “singular opportunity to put the government of Kenya on a more solid footing.”

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. echoed Mr. Obama’s sentiments in his recent visit to the African nation, declaring that a new constitution will “unleash the energy of the youth, deepen the roots of your democracy, and ultimately guarantee [Kenyans’] security.”

The current constitution does not refer to abortion, but the procedure is illegal by statute.

Article 26 of the proposed constitution says, “Abortion is not permitted unless, in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law.” 

Larry Jacobs, managing director for the World Congress of Families, a group that has helped Kenyans who oppose the proposed constitution, says the expanded exception is the problem.

“The problem with that health definition is it’s physical, mental and social, and so as it’s been used here in Roe v. Wade and the subsequent opinion, if the woman is inconvenienced in any way, then that is how it is interpreted — it essentially allows for abortion on demand,” he said.

“Basically, it’s a loophole you could drive a truck through,” agreed Jeff Sagnip, spokesman for Mr. Smith

The next step is to discover who organized the funding, Mr. Smith said.

“It’s a campaign plan. We’re still in the fact-finding phase, but the facts that we’ve already found are very damning.”

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

About the Author
Kathryn Watson

Kathryn Watson

Kathryn Watson is an intern on the Continuous News Desk. Katie is a senior journalism major at Biola University just outside of Los Angeles, where she serves as the editor-in-chief of her school’s student newspaper, The Chimes.

 

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