Kenyan authorities have banned international health organisation Marie Stopes from carrying out abortion services in the east African country.
Kenya’s Medical Practitioners Board said it made the decision after investigating complaints that the group’s adverts were promoting abortion, the BBC reported on Sunday. Abortion is illegal in Kenya unless a mother’s health is in danger.
A letter sent to the organisation by Kenya’s Medical Practitioners Board said: “Marie Stopes Kenya is hereby directed to immediately cease and desist offering any form of abortion services in all its facilities within the republic.”
However, Marie Stopes countered that it operated within the law, offering counselling services including post-abortion care.
The move also prompted fear among some Kenyans that illegal backstreet abortions which endangered the lives of the mothers would now increase.
However, Alfred Mutua, who heads the government agency in charge of approving adverts, welcomed the ban before accusing the previous US government of “causing moral decay in Kenya by promoting abortion”.
“Democrats pushed the pro-abortion view and the pro-LGBT stance on us – an agenda that is alien to our own culture,” he said. He further asserted that the adverts run by Marie Stopes were “unprofessional” and made abortion look “cool”.
Kenya is one of 37 Commonwealth countries that have laws criminalising homosexuality.