Medical authorities in Kenya have ordered international abortion provider Marie Stopes to stop performing abortions at its clinics across the country. With its tagline “Children by choice, not chance,” the London-based Marie Stopes International has insinuated itself into third-world and underdeveloped nations with the goal of making contraception and abortion accessible and expanding the contraceptive and abortion culture globally.
Kenya is a deeply Christian nation where abortion is illegal except when it is deemed that a mother’s life is in danger. Nonetheless, the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB) charged Marie Stopes with promoting abortion throughout the country, and sent a letter to the organization in mid-November stating, “Marie Stopes Kenya is hereby directed to immediately cease and desist offering any form of abortion services in all its facilities within the republic.” Additionally, Marie Stopes was ordered to file weekly reports updating the KMPDB on all services the organization renders in its Kenyan clinics over the next two months.
As reported by LifeSitenews.com, the order was preceded by instructions in September that Marie Stopes stop promoting its abortion services over radio stations in Kenya. “The advertisements being run were seen by many as ‘drumming up’ business for abortion with a direct appeal to teenage girls,” reported LifeSite News.
The KMPDB said that the ads undermined the laws prohibiting abortion in Kenya, which includes a ban on advertising for abortion. Marie Stopes’ violation of the advertising ban in turn led to the “cease and desist” letter from the Kenyan media board.
In addition to the radio ads, the abortion provider had allegedly run a Facebook campaign in Kenya, with overt pro-abortion messaging, prompting many Kenyans to wonder if Marie Stopes was thumbing its nose at Kenyan law and providing illegal abortions.
LifeSite News reported that Kenya’s medical board “said it had felt compelled to act, having received a number of complaints from, among others, Ann Kioko, campaign manager at the pro-life group CitizenGo Africa, and Ezekiel Mutua, Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Film Classification Board.”
Marie Stopes rivals International Planned Parenthood Federation as a major global abortion promoter and provider, with more than 12,000 staff operating in nearly 40 countries. It has operated in Kenya since 1985, and currently has 22 facilities throughout the east Africa nation.
For its part, Marie Stopes has denied actively promoting abortion in Kenya. “At no point did we promote abortions,” said the group’s marketing director, Christopher Wainaina. “Our media campaign talks about the legal status of abortion in Kenya, the stigma of abortion that exists, and how it is leading to high numbers of women becoming victims of botched backstreet abortions and dying as a result.”
Regardless, the organization’s days may be numbered in Kenya, as the pro-life group CitizenGo Africa has launched an online petition drive in an effort to get Marie Stopes kicked out of the country. With more than 5,000 signatures so far, the petition declares that “Kenyan women and youth” are victims of “the bloodthirsty clinics that are now even advertising abortions in the streets of Nairobi and other rural areas.”
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