Preliminary results indicate that Kenyans have succumbed to U.S. and other pressures and approved a new Constitution that could dramatically liberalize abortion laws and partially institute Muslim Sharia law in Kenya.
Almost 70% of voters voted for the new constitution, according to preliminary poll results.
The old Constitution forbade abortion except to save the life of the mother. The new one, however, permits it for the sake of the “health” of the mother. Even opponents of unborn rights admit that such a term can be “broadly interpreted when need be,” thereby bringing about widespread abortion.
The new Constitution also permits abortion if “any other written law” permits it, opening the door to further legislative erosion of the prohibition of abortion.
The Constitution carves legislative space for the Islamic kadhi courts, which govern familial issues for Muslims on the basis of Sharia law. Muslims account for about 12% of the nation’s population; Christians account for over 70%.
Higher Education Minister William Ruto, leader of those opposing the constitution, conceded defeat but said that there should an immediate examination regarding how to amend the Constitution.
Marie Smith of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues (PNCI) told LifeSiteNews (LSN) that she did not “see that as a plausible route.”
The new Constitution requires a vote of not less than two-thirds of each House of Parliament to amend the Bill of Rights, within which is the section regarding abortion, by parliamentary initiative.
The United States has spent $23 million supporting the new Constitution, in defiance of the Siljander amendment, which prohibits the federal government from using foreign aid funds “to lobby for or against abortion.” The U.S. government has also funded
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which explicitly aimed to bring about a “yes” vote.
Vice President Biden personally travelled to Kenya to assure them that their new constitution would “allow money to flow” from foreign aid treasuries.
“Kenya is an example of the international [pressure] on developing countries,” Smith told LSN. Other countries, she said, are “trying to really impose an ideology and an agenda on them.”
“That was the one thing that really bothered me,” she said.
General Secretary Canon Peter Karanka of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) said that it was sad that irregularities in the pre-referendum process had continued into the balloting and tallying phases.
He said that he had evidence that some voters had been bribed or threatened to cause them to vote for the new Constitution.
“It wouldn’t surprise me that there was voting irregularity, voting fraud,” Smith told LSN. She said that, after the “no” campaign had shown its strength, the government went out of its way to set up polling sites in prisons.
She also said she was sure people felt intimidated. 15,000 peace-keeping troops, she said, had been sent to the Rift Valley, where the “no” campaign was very strong.
The 2007 presidential election, considered by many to be rigged, plunged the country into violence, displacing half a million and killing more than 1,000.
President Mwai Kibaki and his opponent Raila Odinga ended the violence by arranging a coalition government; the referendum was one of the conditions of the power-sharing agreement between them. Both had campaigned for Kenyans to vote “yes.”
See related stories on LifeSiteNews.com:
Kenyans Head to Polls to Vote on Pro-Abort Constitution Tomorrow
Opinion: Chicago-Style Politics in Kenya
Pro-Life Anti-Constitution Rally Bombed in Kenya
Biden Promises Kenya ‘Money to Flow’ if Pro-Abort Constitution Passes
Feds Hand $23 Million to Kenya Proxies Fighting for Pro-Abortion Constitution