Kenya: Church condemns mock abortion tribunal

 The Catholic Church in Kenya has condemned a mock tribunal held in Nairobi yesterday by civil society organizations, seeking the liberalisation of abortion laws in the country. At present, Kenyan law only permits abortion if the mother's life is in danger. The Kenya Human Rights Commission and the Reproductive Health and Rights Alliance staged a mock tribunal on abortion at the French Cultural Centre to publicize the negative consequences of the criminalization of abortion in Kenya. The organizations said: "the denial of a pregnant woman's right to make an independent decision regarding abortion violates or poses a threat to a wide range of human rights." They quoted a survey conducted by pro-abortion organizations in 2005 which claimed that 320,000 unsafe abortions are carried out in Kenya annually, resulting in 2,000 deaths and 20,000 injuries. But the Bishops of Kenya saw the tribunal as part of a campaign spearheaded by multinational organizations to legitimize abortion in Kenya as has happened in other African countries. They said abortion is a serious moral crime. "A state which legalizes abortion most definitely abdicates a very basic reason for its own existence," said a statement signed by all the bishops. They said it was important to note that: "abortion has never put an end to women's social distress, but that it simply adds a personal tragedy there is no reason or motive that can ever objectively confer the right to dispose of another's life. The bishops said: "abortion, whether legal or not, kills babies, damages women, harms families, degrades the medical profession, weakens nations and destroys churches." Source: CISA