U.S. funding of groups lobbying for pro-abortion constitution in Kenya more than previously thought

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U.S. monetary support for groups lobbying in favor a new proposed constitution that legalizes abortion in Kenya may be greater than previously thought.

According to a press release from New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith, new information from the Inspector General for the U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID) says funding for the “yes” campaign in Kenya has reached $23 million.

As The Daily Caller previously reported, that number was originally thought to be only $11 million. Not only is the actual amount of funding higher than previously believed, but further analysis of the IG’s information shows direct links between taxpayer money and pro-abortion groups in Kenya responsible for the provision in the new proposed Kenyan constitution that legalizes abortion.

Jeff Sagnip, a spokesman for Smith, speculated to The Daily Caller that support for the abortion legalizing constitution might be influenced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s agenda to expand abortion access worldwide.

During her tenure as Secretary of State, Clinton has not disguised her desire to increase abortion access. She has, in fact, made several public statements announcing the State Department’s advocacy for abortion as part of women’s health care.

In April 2009, Clinton was questioned in a congressional hearing about whether the term “reproductive health” includes abortion. “We [the current US administration] happen to think that family planning is an important part of women’s health and reproductive health includes access to abortion that I believe should be safe, legal and rare,” she responded.

In a speech on January 8, 2010, at the 15th Anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development, Clinton said:

“The U.S. Congress recently appropriated more than $648 million in foreign assistance to family planning and reproductive health programs worldwide…The year 2015 is the target year…All governments will make access to reproductive healthcare and family planning services a basic right.”

President Obama seemingly shares this view. On January 23, 2009, two days after he took office, the president repealed the Mexico City Policy that banned non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from using federal money to promote abortion.

Also in January 2009, Obama restored U.S. funding to the United Nations Population Fund. U.S. funding had been canceled by President George W. Bush under suspicions that the money was being used in China to support coercive abortions and China’s one child policy.

The IG report suggests that the Obama administration is now actively campaigning for Kenya’s new constitution that legalizes abortion for the first time in East African country by funneling $23 million from the USAID budget for foreign aid to pro-abortion groups in Kenya that are lobbying for its passage.

For example, Kenyan Federal of Women Lawyers (FIDA-Kenya) started a campaign in 2008 to expand access to abortion in Kenya. And it played a very influential role in drafting the abortion provision in the proposed constitution. However, FIDA-Kenya is a member of the Kenyan Reproductive Health and Rights Alliance (RHRA), which is supported and financed by Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). So not only is FIDA-Kenya received funds from Planned Parenthood, but it has also received $85,363 to date from the USAID for the “yes” campaign.
Other pro-abortion groups in Kenya receiving taxpayer money are the African Woman and Child Features Service and the African Woman and Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI), which have received $157,000 and $3 million respectively for lobbying activities.

That doesn’t sit well with Rep. Smith, who said in a press release, “the Obama Administration is trying to change Kenya’s existing restriction on abortion through the referendum. Such actions constitute a violation of U.S. law and is an affront to both the pro-life people of Kenya and the U.S., an overwhelming majority of whom do not support abortion, and in the case of the U.S.— do not want their tax dollars to pay for abortion activities.”

“It’s a total reversal of abortion policy,” Sagnip, Smith’s spokesman, told TheDC. “This crosses a line.”

Concerns over U.S. interference with the Kenyan constitutional process were first raised by Smith, along with Republican Reps. Darrell Issa, of California, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, of Florida, when Vice President Biden seemingly promised in a speech monetary incentives if Kenya passed the proposed constitution. Government support for the proposed constitution is problematic because the constitution would legalize abortion in the country. Current federal law prohibits the use of foreign assistance funds to support lobbying for or against abortion.

At the request of the three lawmakers, the IG at USAID launched an investigation and discovered a list of Kenyan organizations receiving U.S. funds to support the “yes” campaign to pass the new Kenyan constitution. The U.S. Embassy in Kenya had flatly denied those claims.

When asked to comment on Hillary Clinton’s connection to the funding for pro-abortion agencies, a spokesperson for the State Department said, “I cannot.”

USAID has not yet responded to requests for comment.