MSI Reproductive Choices, formerly Marie Stopes International, undermines Kenya’s sovereignty and pro-life policy by employing its wide network of international and local allies as bullies when Kenya tried to make efforts to limit abortion. Rather than provide the much-needed prenatal and postpartum education for women in Kenya, MSI Reproductive Choices commits its efforts exclusively to abortion to the detriment of women and families in Kenya. Developing countries, such as Kenya, are more susceptible to MSI’s coercive tactics because unlike developed nations, they rely heavily on international foreign aid. International and local stakeholders must not only acknowledge MSI’s forceful tactics but also help developing nations to maintain their sovereignty and protect their people.

Kenyan enforced its constitutional guidelines which outlaw abortion by banning MSI Reproductive Choices following findings indicating the company ran an abortion mill in the country; a violation of the law. Further findings by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPU) showed how MSI Reproductive Choices ran advertisements in the mainstream media desensitizing the value of children and making abortion appear cool. Abortion is not cool. The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), an independent government agency mandated to regulate material consumed by the Kenyan public, pointed out how MSI Reproductive Choices violated Kenyan Constitution by running aggressive campaigns aimed at normalizing abortion in Kenya. Rather than joining Kenya’s government efforts to protect unborn lives, MSI Reproductive Choices used its international and local network to discredit Kenya’s actions by unleashing social media propaganda campaigns. Powerful and well-funded international partners of MSI Reproductive Choices, such as the International Women’s Health Coalition and World Health Coalition petitioned the Kenyan government to reverse its ban citing the usual rhetoric of denying freedom of choice to women over their bodies. MSI Reproductive Choices sponsored hashtags on social media to disseminate propaganda on unsafe abortion narratives to choke out the government’s legitimate concerns over the abortion giant’s activities. Surprisingly, the government did not limit MSI Reproductive Choices from offering prenatal and postpartum activities yet MSI went into an all-out fight to restore abortion to its portfolio. Due to its reliance on foreign donors, common in low-income and developing countries, the Kenyan government caved to the pressure and rescinded its ban. The abortion mills at MSI Reproductive Choices roared back to life. Consequentially, Kenya’s youth use of derogatory terms such as ‘flushing’ to imply abortion, a loss of innocent lives, continues gaining traction in Kenya with MSI a key enabler.

Unlike Kenya and other developing nations, most western and developed nations possess the institutional capacity and financial framework to fend off predatory influence from MSI Reproductive Choices and its powerful network of allies. The United Kingdom, one of the wealthiest nations in the world and a source of foreign aid to many developing countries, successfully banned MSI Reproductive Choices from offering abortion services to women aged below 16. The Care Quality Commission tasked with safeguarding UK’s public health enforced the ban in 2016 and it remains in effect. MSI Reproductive Choices followed the directive without putting up much of a fight. The MSI Reproductive Choices neither sponsored hashtags on how women’s lives were at risk nor sought help from its international network of allies like it did following Kenya’s abortion ban.

Western developed nations and relevant stakeholders must help developing countries uphold their sovereignty and protect their people. Respecting laws for all countries, rich or poor, should be upheld. Foreign funding aims to enhance international relations but not as a tool to force people to deviate from their values and culture. Kenya and other developing countries have a right to self-governance, and this includes adopting laws that reflect the values of its citizens. MSI Reproductive Choices respected United Kingdom’s ban without a fight. Using its international allies and running propaganda campaigns against the Kenyan government’s abortion ban demonstrates MSI Reproductive Choices’ true mission; offer abortion even where it’s not welcome. The silence and/or collaboration by some relevant international bodies is confusing as it can be easily misinterpreted for complicity to MSI Reproductive Choice’s unwelcome abortion mission in Kenya. Silence means consent. Like-minded stakeholders and countries should coalesce to preserve life and ban abortion. Several countries in Europe and Asia banned MSI Reproductive Choices from providing abortion. When countries and stakeholders unite against coercive abortion providers, it sends a strong message; stop murdering innocent lives!

MSI Reproductive Choices engages in illegality under Kenyan law by forcing its abortion agenda upon unwilling Kenyans. Using underhand tactics, manipulation, and misrepresentation of Kenya’s ban demonstrate the extent to which MSI Reproductive Choices is willing to go to maintain abortion in its portfolio. Abortion remains its true mission. How can killing innocent children become fashionable or cool? For MSI Reproductive Choices, banning abortion is an existential threat.


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