Reject Reproductive Bill, urges Minister

August 19, 2008 12:00 am

, NYERI, August 19 – The Gender and Children Affairs Minister, Esther Murugi, has promised to round up legislators against the Reproductive Health and Rights Bill, which will soon be tabled in Parliament.

The Cabinet Minister said on Tuesday that the bill should not be passed because it seeks to legalise abortion.

“If that Bill is passed, we are going to see mayhem in this country. We should educate our children on the importance of abstinence and not legalise abortion, which is murder,” exerted Murugi.

According to statistics from Pro-Life Movement, a cluster of groups that are opposed to the practice, over 800 abortions are procured daily.

The Nyeri Town MP faulted the bill, which she said, has borrowed largely from western cultures under the guise of women rights.

A Reproductive Health and Rights Bill has been drafted, which proposes to legalise abortion and ensuring that contraceptives are available for children as young as 10 years old, among other things.

Recently, President Mwai Kibaki also raised his discord over the abortion debate, saying that there is no way it could be legalised in the country.

The President’s remarks came several days after stakeholders lobbying for the rights of women came up with the "Reproductive Health and Rights Bill".

John Cardinal Njue, the head of the Catholic Church in Kenya, has also opposed the bill, which he described as an ‘affront to the humanity of everybody and, especially, to the integrity of the human being’.

Cardinal Njue recently said: “Those promoting the bill are slaves of foreign ideologies and policies that are devoid of Christianity. Life is sacred and so nobody has authority to terminate it.”

Dr Jean Kaggiah, a gynaecologist with the Pro-Life Movement, has suggested that if the bill is passed, the family unit would be killed.

Kaggiah said efforts to legalise abortion and impose western-style secularised values on Kenya should be opposed.

She said that while the country enjoys a total fertility rate of 4.7 children born per woman, with issues such a social and economic problems, including a high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS besides increased infant mortality, every child should be given a chance to survive.


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