Kenya: Children Don't Need Pills, Catholic Bishops Say

28 November 2018

The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops has criticised parents who give their children contraceptives.

The bishops said the practice "is intrinsically wrong".

The conference restated the Church's traditional ban on contraception while calling on Kenyans to take parenting seriously.

"We would like to emphasise the importance of responsible parenting instead of picking the short-term unethical solutions such as contraceptives," conference chairman Philip Anyolo said in Nairobi on Tuesday.

TEENAGE PREGNANCIES

Reports of Kenyans introducing their children to contraceptives in order to avoid teen pregnancies have surfaced.

"We have witnessed a rise in the number of abortions. Let us be wary of multinationals and advertisements that advocate freedom of choice and easy solutions of self-exaltation," Archbishop Anyolo said, adding that society has become "sick".

They were reacting to recent reports of KCPE and KCSE candidates giving birth while sitting their examinations.

It is still not clear how many candidates were pregnant but an estimated 449 did not sit the tests because they were expectant.

Recent studies show that an estimated 11 percent of children have sex before their 15th birthday.

About 47 percent of teenagers are already sexually active by the time they reach 18.

The bishops said they wanted to address "the reality in Kenya, where abortions, child pregnancies and child abuse have become common".

They said sex education is the basic duty of parents "even as people blame the Church and the education system".

"No society can hold together if it loses its moral values. The gospel says every good parent brings up a good family," the archbishop added.

EXPLOITATION

"The increased cases of teenage pregnancies clearly show that children are being abused and all levels of society must tackle the problem."

The bishops also touched on political integrity, exploration of minerals and the referendum debate.

They urged the government to protect farmers from exploitation.

"It is painful to see farmers suffering. After labouring to produce their crops, they cannot find a market for their produce because a small group is allowed to import maize, sugar and rice," he said.

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