Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Abortion Lobbying By White House In Kenya Alleged

The Obama administration is alleged to have offered “incentives” to Kenya to approve a new constitution that would legalize abortion in that country for the first time.

Three members of the United States Congress have asked in letters to the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Government Accountability Office, and U.S. Agency for International Development for a federal probe to determine whether the administration violated federal law with its assistance. The letters were sent to the three named departments by Republican Reps. Darrell Issa of California, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Chris Smith of New Jersey.

One of the letters sent this past May states, "Any advocacy by the administration in support of the proposed new constitution would constitute lobbying for abortion. There is no doubt that the administration is advocating for adoption of the proposed constitution."

Article 26 of the proposed constitution states that abortion is allowed if "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."

Many pro-life organizations point out that this wording of the Article is too broad to interpretation. Some have said that a “trained health professional” could be anyone who has health training “including a student or physical therapist”. They also say that this includes any kind of health including psychological or emotional health. They also point out that it leaves the way open for the passage of more pro-abortion laws.

Vice-President Joe Biden gave a speech in Kenya last month in which he urged the Kenyan people to pass the constitution in a referendum scheduled for August 4. In the speech Biden said, “The United States strongly supports the process of constitutional reform. ... Dare to reach for transformative change, the kind of change that might come around only once in a lifetime.” He also added, "If you make these changes, I promise you, new foreign private investment will come in like you've never seen."

It has also been alleged in reports that the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger told Kenyan officials last May that the U.S. has offered 2 million dollars in taxpayer funds for civic education to support the process of enacting the new constitution.

It has not been a healthy climate in Kenya for those who oppose the new constitution. Three members of the Kenyan parliament were arrested for “hate speech” that related to their prominence in opposing the new constitution. Three more opponents of the new constitution were accused of hate speech including the Higher Education Minister. A Kenyan newspaper, The Standard also reported that a peaceful anti-constitution protest and prayer service turned deadly when 2 bombs exploed killing 6 and injuring 100.

A federal law known as the Siljander Amendment passed in 2006 makes it illegal for the U.S. government to lobby on abortion in other countries, whether the lobbying is either for or against abortion.


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