.- Following calls for a federal probe into U.S. funding to support Kenyaâs proposed constitution, which would permit abortions in the country, investigations suggest that the funds used may have totaled over $10 million instead of the $2 million initially suspected. One congressman called the funding âa clear violation of federal law.â
Earlier this month three leading U.S. congressmen made public a letter requesting a federal probe into whether the Obama administration broke federal laws by promoting a proposed Kenyan constitution that âradicallyâ changes abortion policy.
The Siljander Amendment, annually included in the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, prohibits lobbying for or against abortion using the funds made available in the act.
Initial reports said that the Obama administration had pledged $2 million to help promote the new constitution.
However, in a May 26 press release one of the Congressmen, Rep. Chris Smith (R-New Jersey), said he has learned from investigators that U.S. taxpayer expenditures in support of the Kenyan proposal âmay exceed $10 million â five times the level we originally expected.â
âThis massive spending will undoubtedly be directed to those entities that are pressing for ratification of the proposed constitution,â he continued.
âSuch support will further enable passage of a constitution that is opposed by many pro-life leaders in Kenya, because it enshrines new rights to abortion. As such, the funding is a clear violation of federal law against use of U.S. taxpayer funds to lobby for or against abortion,â Rep. Smith charged.
According to the Congressman, the new information about the size of the funding gives âeven more urgencyâ to the request for investigations into all U.S. State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) activities related to the proposal.
âI hope that all investigative agencies will take our request seriously and act swiftly in this matter,â commented Smith.
The Catholic bishops of Kenya have said the proposed constitution is âfundamentally flawedâ because it paves the way for abortion on demand and also specially recognizes Muslim civil courts.
At present Kenyan law allows abortion only to save the life of the mother. The proposed new constitution would allow abortion in cases where health care professionals believe a motherâs âhealthâ is endangered, an exception which has been broadly interpreted in many countries.
The bishops have called for the removal of the clause from the draft constitution.