So our teenagers want to know where to get contraceptives and how to use them? A recent Daily Nation headline, “We want condoms, say teens”, made that patently clear.
The clamour to give the devices to children as young as 10 is an all-too-familiar strategy of the American population control lobby.
They use opinion leaders, notably MPs, policymakers and actors, civil society groups, religious leaders and even the media to further an agenda with well-documented harmful effects on children.
The latest strategy shifts focus from the vested interests in the multibillion-dollar industry.
Did you know that the global market is projected to hit the Sh2 trillion mark by 2020 at a 3.1 per cent compound annual growth rate since 2014?
COST OF CONTRACEPTIVES
Did you also know that since fiscal year 2011-2012, the government has been covering the full cost of contraceptives, thanks to the 2010 Constitution, which treats reproductive health like any other health issue, never mind that nobody ever died from sexual starvation?
With constitutional bottlenecks removed, the remaining hurdle to channelling taxpayers’ billions to the Western contraceptive makers is that clause in the law, which regards anybody under 18 as a child incapable of consenting to sex.
SEXUAL OFFENCES ACT
Section 8 of the Sexual Offences Act stipulates penalties for having sex with under-18-year-olds:
• 8(1) A person who commits an act which causes penetration with a child is guilty of an offence termed defilement.
•8(2) A person who commits an offence of defilement with a child aged eleven years or less shall upon conviction be sentenced to life imprisonment.
•8(3) A person who commits an offence of defilement with a child between the age of twelve and fifteen years is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than 20 years.
•A person who commits an offence of defilement with a child between the age of sixteen and eighteen years is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than 15 years.
Anybody having sex with an under-18 belongs in jail and should not be facilitated by dishing out contraceptives to prevent pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases inflicted by such sex pests.
But the old maxim that every man (and woman) has his price holds sway. The contraceptives industry is determined to expand the under-18s market in Kenya, which represents some 25 per cent of the population.
Their softest target is legislators, whose greed is comparable only to that of police, who consistently top Transparency International corruption charts.
Female lawmakers, who should be championing children’s wellbeing, have been lobbying to lower the age of consent to 16.
The lawmakers have fallen prey to contraceptive sellers’ ploys, thanks to their penchant for soliciting bribes to legislate in favour of unpopular causes.
Vested interests drive the push to have contraceptives for children.
It can’t be by chance that Guttmacher Institute study claiming teens want to know where to get and how to use contraceptives coincided with the Teen Pregnancy Task Force Summit in Portland, Oregon, US, also associated with Guttmacher.
Guttmacher has an undisguised pro-abortion agenda as evidenced by its statement: “In the first quarter of 2017, there was an increased focus by abortion foes on legislation to ban abortion under various circumstances. This worrying trend could be driven by expectations that the US Supreme Court might uphold such laws in the future.”
Telling children about the dangers of contraceptives is neither moralistic nor is it meant to instil fear and guilt; it’s being factual. Isn’t it about time we exposed commercial interests that treat our children as a vast contraceptives market?
Ms Kweyu is a freelance writer and consulting editor. [email protected]