Wednesday, 12 November 2008

KENYA: Catholic Experts Back Cardinal’s Anti-Abortion Crusade

NAIROBI, November 4, 2008 (CISA) -Four Catholic professionals have said that making abortion legal in Kenya will have serious implications for the family, religion and society in general.Gynaecologist Dr Stephen Karanja, lawyer Richard Kakeeto, Professor Ann Muigai of Kenya Parents Caucus, and counsellor Mukami Njoroge urged Kenyans to reject the Reproductive Health and Rights Bill 2008 that is waiting to be tabled in parliament.The Catholic professionals spoke on Sunday at seminar on the issue organised by the Justice and Peace Committee of Consolata Shrine Parish in Nairobi. Cardinal John Njue, the archbishop of Nairobi, is spearheading a national campaign against the proposed legislation.“The bill is a cornerstone for making abortion legal and, therefore, it must be rejected by everybody. It encourages children from 10 years to be sexually active and to access contraceptives,” Dr Karanja said.Lawyer Kakeeto said that reproductive rights have no basis in international law, adding that there is need to create awareness on the dangers of legal abortion. He advised that the bill should not be allowed to be tabled in parliament because it could easily be politicised. He noted that the bill was drafted in New York and does not have its origin in Kenya.Prof Muigai said the proposed law has a direct impact on family, for it would challenge the authority of parents over their children. Trust between parents and children will break down as the bill emphasizes confidentiality between the healthcare worker and the child.“The bill inspires a spirit of defiance and rebellion and children can sue parents if they are denied their ‘sexual rights’,” Prof Muigai said. She added that the bill challenges the institution of marriage and demonizes pregnancy.The bill challenges religion by making it seem fanatical and old-fashioned and silently introduces homosexuality and eugenics selection of perfect humans, the so-called “intelligent people in society,” the experts observed.It will also introduce In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), “another silent holocaust” where embryos are abused, discriminated and thousands of them frozen in refrigerators. “It is a clear no to abortion; we don’t need to consider another option,” said Fr Marino Gemma, the Consolata parish priest, referring to Cardinal Njue’s recent pastoral letter on the subject.He Catholic Church and Muslims have expressed vehement opposition to the bill,which is sponsored by Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and the Coalition on Violence Against Women (COVAW). The church is collecting signatures against the bill from around the country to be presented to the government.

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