The President of the United States Barrack Obama was in Kenya recently for an Official Visit and to open the 6th Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), which was being held in Nairobi. Many companies, government institutions and civil societies took advantage of this opportunity to try and get the US President to address various issues of concern to them. Pro-Choice groups who campaign for the legalization of abortion were among these. They brought forward a plea put together by 71 rights organizations asking President Obama to correct what they referred to as a "longstanding misinterpretation of the Helms Amendment". They basically want the U.S. Foreign Assistance Programs to be able to provide abortion for women who become pregnant as a result of rape or incest, and in case a woman faces a life threatening pregnancy.
The Helms Amendment is a U.S legislation enacted in 1973 which states that 'No foreign assistance funds may be used to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortion.' The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – which is the United States Government Agency responsible for administering civilian foreign aid - places a high priority on preventing abortions. They do this by encouraging family planning, saving the lives of women who suffer complications arising from unsafe abortions and linking those women to places that offer voluntary family planning and other reproductive health services.
However, in this letter to President Obama, the 71 Organizations are advocating for the amendment of the "Helms Amendment" law so that they can directly finance abortions in Kenya. They speak of promoting 'maternal health' and 'comprehensive family planning' but what they are really doing is promoting abortion. Article 26 of Kenya's Constitution explains that abortion is illegal and clearly states that every person has a right to life, with a further explanation that life begins at conception. According to the letter to President Obama, the pro-abortion groups claim that '...Obama's administration continues to implement this law (Helms Amendment) as a complete ban on all abortion-related services, even in the case of rape, incest, or when a pregnancy threatens the life of the woman.' These groups would like Kenyan women to abort innocent children just because they feel that they were not conceived in the right way. They further claim in the letter that the '...issue is urgent because women are dying.' It should be noted that Abortion as a cause of death can be stopped simply by choosing life! If women were encouraged to choose life, they would save both their lives and the lives of the innocent babies they are carrying.
President Barrack Obama rightly ignored the letter during his visit and instead focused on other important matters affecting women here such as a promotion of their dignity and an enhancement of their presence in society. He emphasized that women should not be treated as second-class citizens and condemned the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), a significant stand to take because there are still some communities that consider this to be a rite of passage.
If these groups really wanted to help women in Kenya and Africa as a whole, then they would advocate for abstinence, especially among young people still in schools, while also educating women on how to stay healthy during their pregnancy terms. However, a closer look at their agenda (click here) reveals that they might have other plans for the developing countries such as population control.
We believe that every child has the right to live despite the circumstances they were conceived in. Every conceived child is an innocent being with unlimited potential that could grow up to have a positive impact on the world. They deserve a chance at life and no one has the right to take that away from them.