New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith has revealed that the United States State Department has funneled monies to organizations that support abortion as Kenya geared up for its national elections on a new constitution. The United States Aid for International Development (USAID) has distributed $23 million to Kenyan non-government organizations (NGO’s) which support the new constitution.
The State Department has denied any of the funds went to organizations to forward abortion services, however, Congressman Smith claims otherwise. The use of aid dollars to support abortion are prohibited by federal law.
Congressman Smith has identified $11 million of the $23 million that he claims went to organizations in likely violation of the law.
For example, USAID funds were provided to the Kenyan Federation of Women Lawyers which is a member of the Kenyan Reproductive Health and Rights Alliance. The latter organization expresses its mission as expanding abortion rights. Further, the pro-abortion African Women and Child Features Services and Development Alternatives, Inc. also received funds.
This week, the citizens of Kenya overwhelming approved the new constitution. The need for a new constitution was almost universally recognized. The previous constitution was written during a time of colonial rule by Great Britain.
The controversy, however, arises due to the general publics’ lack of knowledge regarding the scope of the abortion provision in the constitution and whether United States foreign assistance funds were illegally used to promote abortion rights within the new constitution.
The media has largely reported that the new constitution was “conservative” on the issue of abortion and did not guarantee broad access to abortion. This reporting, however, ignores the language in the new constitution.
The new Kenyan Constitution provides an express right to an abortion if the mother’s life or health is in jeopardy or if there is a medical emergency. (read the constitution by clicking here).
The “health” language mirrors the claimed “health” exception in the United States. In practice, this results in abortion on demand without restriction as court’s have interpreted health to include emotional, social and economic health concerns. The health exception swallows the rule and allows abortion to be used as a form of birth control.
Recent polls indicate that 69% of Kenyans oppose abortion and that only 9% of the electorate of the nation of 40 million believe abortion should be legal. Now, however, pressed by the need for a new constitution and thanks to the insistence by many organizations supported by the United States, abortion is the supreme law of the land in Kenya.