Kenyan lobby warns over abortion clause

February 6, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 6 – A Non Governmental Organisation is threatening to lobby for a vote against the draft Constitution, if Members of Parliament amend a clause that prohibits abortions.

An official of Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) says they are apprehensive that pro-choice activists my influence a change but this will be fought hard.

“I think the answer lies with us providing the girls with support right from the beginning – not necessarily contraceptives – because we are also fighting another scourge called AIDS,” Ann Mbugua, an advocate and member of the organisation said.

“By the time you are pregnant, it simply means you have exposed yourself to viruses so we shouldn’t try to score one as we lose the other,” she added.

Addressing a Press Conference on Friday, Ms Mbugua claimed most people were interested in the legalisation of abortion for commercial purposes.

A board Member of the organisation, Dr Wafula Nalwa said the statistics that indicated there were 300,000 abortions annually included spontaneous abortions.

He said the study was carried out in 2004 as a national assessment on the magnitude and consequences of unsafe abortion in Kenya and accused the pro-choice activists of misquoting the figures.

“Of that total only 16 percent was in girls between 15 years and 19 years which comes to about 48,000 girls. Majority of those who had abortions at that time were above 25years of age and these are people who are probably working so they know what they are doing,” Dr Nalwa said.

“Again when you look at how the assessment was done for the types of abortion, more than 50 percent were spontaneous and spontaneity of an abortion is a natural process, nobody ever decides it because it is a factor of environment in the womb and the development of the baby,” he said.

They argued that there was scientific evidence of life in the womb before birth. They said at 21 days after fertilisation, the foetus has a heart that is beating and can be detected medically.

They also said that at eight weeks the baby can feel pain while at nine weeks it can grasp an object with the hands and by the time the foetus is 12 weeks, all organs are fully formed and functional.

“All these characteristics of life can be seen using the 4 dimension ultra sound technology,” said Dr Nalwa.

They are now calling on the government to provide other solutions to abortion like having centres where unwanted babies can be taken care of.


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