Kenyan bishops launch campaign to defeat new constitution
Catholic World News - May 12, 2010
The Catholic bishops of Kenya have issued a call for rejection of a proposed new constitution for the African nation, citing the document's failure to protect the dignity of huma life.
"A constitution that does not safeguard the sanctity of human life is not a good constitution," said the bishops, in a statement released on May 11 by Cardinal John Njue of Nairobi, the chairman of the Kenyan bishops' conference.
The bishops' statement recalled that after talks with the government failed to produce agreement on the issue of abortion, they had announced their opposition to the constitution. Confirming that decision, the bishops said "we are compelled to advise the people of Kenya to vote No!"
The bishops' statement left the door open for last-minute amendments that could produce an acceptable proposal. But they pointed out that there are other areas of concern in the wording of the constitution, including the establishment of Islamic kadhi courts, the adoption of international law into the Kenyan legal code, the definition of religious freedom, and the call for "reproductive health care"-- a term frequently cited in UN documents as including legal abortion.
Meanwhile in Washington, DC, three pro-life Republican members of Congress asked for an investigation of the Obama administration's support for the Kenyan constitutional proposal. The lawmakers said that the $2 million commitment by the Obama administration to the campaign in favor of the constitutional proposal violates American law prohibiting support for the legalization of abortion in other countries.
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