Pro-life groups want Kihika Bill completely withdrawn

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020 00:00 | By
Anti-abortion groups in Nairobi. Photo/PD/FILE

 Some 20 pro-life groups yesterday called for the withdrawal of the Reproductive Health Care Bill sponsored by Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika.

Her proposal seeks to legalise abortion. In a memorandum to the Senate Committee on Health, the group said the Bill is pushing for illegalities and practices that are not acceptable in the country.

The group further stated that the Bill as it is, legalises abortion on demand, which is contrary to the provision of the Constitution and the Penal Code.

In the memorandum, the group reiterates its non-negotiable stance to have the bill withdrawn without amendments.

“We, therefore, urge the Senate Committee on Health to listen to the many voices who have opposed the Bill and have it shelved completely.

The pro-life community in Kenya has offered to help in championing and steering an all stakeholders forum that will come up with a bill that is acceptable by all,” the statement.

The statement, signed by the campaign director Africa Ann Kioko, indicated that the Bill is emanating from the National Assembly yet all money bills are supposed to emanate from the National Assembly instead of the Senate.

“The Bill is sponsored and championed by foreign NGOs that have continuously pushed for it online, through media and also through holding workshops with a number of legislators.

The outspoken agenda by these non-governmental organisations has been to make abortion legal in the entire of Africa, Kenya being their number one target,” the statement.

  “According to article 114 of the Constitution, all money bills are supposed to emanate from the National Assembly instead of the Senate,” the statement.

Takes issue

The group also took issue with the Bill saying it is pushing for surrogacy without offering a clear framework on how this can be practiced and without taking into account the negative effects, which the practice has, including harm to the best interests of the child and the spirit of Article 45 of the Constitution.

“The Bill is aimed at legalising comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in the name of adolescent friendly education,” noted the groups.

According to the groups, the Bill leaves loopholes for same sex unions and related practices, which are currently illegal in the country and are not for the good of the entire society.

Their sentiments come hardly a week after the Ministry of Health also opposed the same, saying the proposed provisions in the bill normalises abortion on demand contrary to the Constitution and the values the country upholds.

According to MoH, the Bill has introduced a loophole for termination of pregnancy as a method of Family Planning yet the opinion to determine a pregnancy is a complex professional opinion that is vested to a trained official who has sufficient proficiency to give such decisions because of its far-reaching consequences.

The Bill, besides the provision of termination of pregnancy, has other numerous provisions for reproductive health, including family planning, assisted reproduction and safe motherhood.

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