MEDIA ADVISORY -- The World Congress of Families sadly notes that, without actually voting on the plank, late last week, the Kenyan Parliament approved the draft of a new Constitution which hypocritically affirms a right to life while simultaneously denying the application of that right.
As WCF Communications Director Don Feder notes: "On the one hand, Section 26 states that every person has a right to life, and that life begins at conception. However, this is totally negated by the next section, which allows abortion when, in the 'opinion of a trained health professional (not necessarily a physician), 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.'"
Feder continued: "An exception to a ban on abortion for the 'health of the mother' is virtually abortion-on-demand. You can always find an obliging 'health professional' -- including mental-health workers -- who will certify that any condition would endanger a woman's health unless a pregnancy is terminated."
As the World Congress of Families U.N. Representative E. Douglas Clark notes in his commentary ("Kenya: An Historic Moment"), "abortion does not protect mothers' health, but puts it in greater jeopardy."
Clark quotes Dr. Byron C. Calhoun, MD, professor and vice-chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at West Virginia University at Charleston and speaker at WCF V (Click Here for His Speech: How Biotechnology and Ethics Affects the Family):
"The real issue regarding maternal mortality in Africa and other developing countries in maternity care rests in the lack of trained and skilled birth attendants with access to emergency or higher levels of care. Reproductive rights (translated abortions) is not safe, actually has higher rates of maternal mortality when compared by appropriate gestational age controls, is associated with increased risk for breast cancer (in first pregnancies ending in elective abortion), is associated with increased risk for preterm birth by 30-60%, is associated to increased risk for death by all causes, and is associated with significantly increased risk for psychological damage (including suicide and major depression)."
Theresa Okafor, a director of the Foundation for African Cultural Heritage and organizer of the 2009 World Congress of Families Dialogue of Civilizations in Abuja, Nigeria, said Africans emphatically reject the "conspiracy to strip Africa of its cherished values by international organizations like Planned Parenthood and the United Nations."
Okafor calls the push for access to abortion by Western nations and aide-givers a new imperialism: "It just doesn't seem right that the 'reproductive rights movement,' which historically has trampled on the rights of developing countries, should continue to manipulate facts by insinuating that maternal death in any African country is due to ‘unsafe abortion.'" Okafor charges that the myth of maternal mortality due to "unsafe abortion", "uncovers an attempt to promote an imperialistic agenda and to strip Africa of its core traditional value, namely, respect for every life -- born and unborn."
The draft Constitution must now be approved by popular vote, in a July plebiscite. World Congress of Families pledges to support pro-life forces in Kenya in opposing this Pandora's box of abortion rights.