Posts Tagged ‘debate’

Kenya is considering a new constitution. The Church has some objections to the Draft Constitution. The media has been claiming that the Church opposes abortion if the life of the mother is in danger. That is NOT true.

Below is the issue with abortion.

Article 26 says:
1) Every person has the right to life
2) The life of a person begins at conception
3) A person shall not be deprived of life intentionally, except to the extent authorised by this Constitution, or other written law.
4) Abortion is not permitted unless, in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law.

Now, the problem is in Clause 4.
The problems are these:
Problem 1) The clause does not define ‘trained health professional’
That means a nurse, a clinical officer or even a psychologist can be called a trained heath professional.

Problem 2) The phrase “There is need for emergency treatment” is not restricted to treatment related to the pregnancy.
So, if a mother needs emergency treatment of her toe, then she can abort, even if the sick toe is not affecting the pregnancy.

Problem 3) The words ‘or health’ are ambiguous.
The World Health Organisation defines health at this link:
and says
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

So, if a psychologist says that a baby will endanger the social well-being of a woman, then the woman can abort.
Or if a nurse says that a pregnant woman will experience anguish because she wanted to get a Masters degree before getting a baby, then their mental well-being is in danger and they can abort.

This is effectively abortion on demand

Problem 4) the clause ‘or any other written law’ means that 50 members of Parliament can be in the House, pass a new law by simple majority, and abortion will be legal, thus nullifying all the other clauses prohibiting abortion.

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