A Christian organisation has given Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists’ Board (KMPDB) Chairman Prof George Magoha a one-week ultimatum to explain the board’s decision to lift the ban on the provision of abortion services by Marie Stopes clinics.
“On behalf of more than 5,000 people that signed CitizenGo’s petition demanding closure of Marie Stopes, we hereby demand an explanation on why you lifted abortion activities in the clinics. (We also wish to know why) no one was arraigned in a court of law for breaking the Kenyan law within the next seven days,” said the organisation in a letter signed by its Africa Campaigns Manager Ann Kioko.
On November 14, 2018, KMPDB banned the provision of abortion and post-abortion care services by Marie Stopes but the decision was later rescinded in a notice issued by Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki on December 21, 2018.
In her notice, Ms Kariuki clarified that the government had lifted the ban on post-abortion care services by Marie Stopes Kenya and ordered its full compliance with relevant laws.
The CS further directed the company to observe all laws that cover its work, as stated in article 26(4) of the Constitution.
She asked Marie Stopes Kenya to comply with all KMPDB directives, and submit a letter of commitment “that they would not carry out any abortion services on demand.”
"I require the board to carry out regular supervision of the operations of Marie Stopes Kenya and submit corresponding reports to my office,” added Ms Kariuki.
The law permits abortions only during emergencies and where the life or health of the mother is in danger.
In a hard-hitting letter, CitizenGo accused the KPMDB of colluding with Marie Stopes to continue procuring ‘illegal abortions.’
“Your team is at fault for colluding with an organisation whose reputation is procuring illegal abortions at the expense of sanity and defense of unborn babies, our teenagers and our future generations,” said Ms Kioko.
In the letter, CitizenGo said the decision to lift the ban was done without consulting Ms Kioko.
“We have noted with concern the lifting of some abortion activities by Marie Stopes clinics without consulting or informing me and the team that formed the complainants during the public hearing of Ann Kioko vs Marie Stopes held on November 7, 2018,” she said.
Ms Kioko said the hearing had exposed “illegal activities carried out by Marie Stopes including the provision of abortion services to teenagers on demand without seeking consent from their parents”.
“During this hearing, the Marie Stopes director admitted to administering abortions on demand to teenagers without parental consent besides being found guilty of advertising abortions in a country whose laws are against abortions,” said the organisation’s campaign manager.
Ms Kioko termed the lifting of the ban on abortions as “a reward for breaking the law.”
She wondered why Marie Stopes directors were not charged in court despite the organisation having advertised its capacity to procure abortions on demand.