U.S. Taxpayers Funding Kenyan Pro-Abortion Campaign

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) announced today he’s obtained documents showing U.S. taxpayers are funding a political campaign to pass the new Kenyan constitution that would legalize abortion.

The Office of the Inspector General of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) released documents showing two nongovernmental sponsored enterprises (NGOs) working to promote passage of a new Kenyan constitution have received $150,000 in grant money from American taxpayers.

 “There is no doubt that the Obama Administration is funding the ‘yes’ campaign in Kenya,” said Smith, one of three U.S. lawmakers who have requested an investigation into U.S. activities leading up to the referendum on a proposed constitution that would liberalize the abortion law in Kenya.

According to the Smith press release, “A series of U.S. taxpayer-funded agreements awarded to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) by the Obama Administration clearly contradicts recent statements issued by the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi claiming neutrality in the Kenya constitutional referendum scheduled for a vote in early August."

“By funding NGOs charged with obtaining ‘yes’ votes, the Administration has crossed the line,” Smith said.  “Directly supporting efforts to register ‘yes’ voters and ‘get out the yes vote’ means the U.S. government is running a political campaign in Kenya. U.S. taxpayer funds should not be used to support one side or the other.”

Reps. Smith, Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Ranking Member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee received as part of an ongoing dialogue on oversight a chart listing USAID funding recipients and a summary of their agreements.

Two organizations are receiving over $150,000 to “contribute to an ‘overrepresentation’ of the YES voters,” and five organizations have been charged with registering a total of 100,000 “for a YES vote” at the referendum.  Other Kenyan groups are being given funding for similar YES vote efforts.

“The draft constitution, with its controversial provisions expanding access to abortion, is a matter for the Kenyan people to consider and decide,” Smith said. “The Obama administration should immediately withdraw all U.S. taxpayer funding used to buy votes and influence the outcome on the referendum.”

The chart provided by the USAID IG’s office showed funding to multiple NGOs working in favor of the pro-abortion constitution including:

•  Provincial Peace Forum, Eastern Providence. $97,633.33 to “gain buy-in for the new proposed constitution by educating the professional elites in Isiolo South Constituency about its benefits and getting their commitment to use their influence to ensure people register and vote YES at the referendum.”  

•  Central Organization of Trade Unions, Kenya (COTU). $91,106.66 to “marshal a coalition of pro-Constitution individuals, institutions, and organizations to drum up political support for the Proposed Constitution by organizing a public rally at the historic Kamukunji Grounds, Nairobi.”

•  Provincial Commissioner North Eastern Province. $99,220 for “one of a series of activities that aim to contribute to an ‘overrepresentation’ of the YES voters at the next referendum. Specifically, OTI will provide support to the office of the Provincial Commissioner (PC) in the form of transportation and fuel.”

•  Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance (KMYA). $56,953.33 for “one of a series of activities that aim to contribute to an ‘overrepresentation’ of the YES voters at the next referendum. Specifically, OTI will provide support to Kenya Muslims Youth Alliance (KMYA) in the form of transportation and communications.”