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Over the years numerous public policies have been developed in a number of nations in relation to matters that concern the survival of man. Public policies have been developed in the area of education, health, abortion, transport sector among other important areas. These policies seek to provide guidance on how certain issues, which affect citizens of a given country in their day to day lives, should be resolved or dealt with.
The topic of abortion has been a largely discussed issue around the globe. Many arguments have been made across the world in relation to this critical subject. Many studies have also been carried out on this subject by different scholars, non governmental organizations, religious groups, and others groups of interest. People tend to present conflicting views on this subject, whereby some people hold the view that abortion should be legalized while others strongly believe that abortion should be prohibited by law.
This paper compares two countries’ public policies in relation to the issue of abortion. Kenya and the United States of America are the countries that are used in this paper to bring into light the issue of public policies that have been adopted by different countries in relation to abortion. This study shows that there are significant differences as well as similarities when it comes to public policies on the subject of abortion in these two countries.
The subject of abortion has been one of the largely discussed subjects in Kenya and the US. Heated debates on this subject have been witnessed in both countries. In both countries there are proponents who support legalization of abortion, while, on the other hand, others strongly oppose the issue of legalizing abortion (Samuel & Stephanie 78).
Abortion can be defined as an act of terminating pregnancy either through surgical intervention or miscarriage. This term is used to cover both intentional and accidental disturbances that may occur during pregnancy, even though the term “termination” has been widely used to refer to intentional act of terminating the pregnancy. There are a number of factors that lead to abortion. Some of these factors are medically related, while others are human related.
Different policies in relation to abortion have been developed over the years in Kenya and the US in order to adequately address this issue. The practice of abortion depends on the country. Some countries have legalized the practice while others have made the practice illegal. There are some exceptional cases when abortion may be allowed, especially when the life of the mother is in danger.
For the purpose of understanding the subject of abortion and public polices that have been developed in relation to the issue, this paper investigates public policies that have been developed in the US and Kenya. The comparison helps to understand the subject of public policy in greater detail since this study provides an insight on the way different countries formulate their public policies. The study helps to understand factors that are taken into consideration while developing public policies.
United States is one of the most developed countries in the world. It has one of the best public policies relating to different issue that are of importance to people of this country. US has developed various policies in relation to the subject of abortion. On the other hand, Kenya is a developing country. It does not have sound public policies in place in relation to different matters of national importance. The issue of developing sound public policies in relation to the subject of abortion in Kenya has been delayed because of the heated argument among various sections of the community, which have conflicting views on this subject (Kulier, Kapp & Gülmezoglu 11).
In Kenya, abortion has been made illegal by the constitution, which, however, has outlined exceptional cases in which abortion is allowed. The Bill of Rights which is found in Chapter 5 of the Constitution of Kenya clearly states that abortion is illegal. It has also outlined penalties which apply to an individual who violates this chapter. It is clear that Kenyan policies on abortion do not allow abortion. In Kenya abortion is considered immoral and those who commit this act are deemed immoral. It is during the recent years that a clear public policy on abortion was developed in Kenya with the enactment of the new constitution in the country (Pazol & Karen 34).
The public policy on abortion in Kenya provides for cases in which abortion may be permitted. One of the cases outlined in the Kenyan law is the situation where the life of the mother is in danger. Only qualified medical practitioner can recommend an abortion. This abortion is meant to save the life of the mother. Another situation in which abortion is allowed by Kenyan public polices is the case of miscarriage. Where unintentional abortion occurs, one cannot be held accountable for the miscarriage under the laws of Kenya. Kenyan public policy on abortion also provides forums for various parties concerned with the issue of abortion to voice their opinions on what should be done to reduce instances of unsafe abortions that continue to be witnessed in Kenya.
Intentional forms of abortions are highly discouraged in Kenya through the Kenyan laws where one may be sentenced to jail for taking part in a crime involving abortion. Even though abortion has been made illegal in Kenya, the practice is still secretly done in most parts of the country. Kenyan public policy does not provide opportunities for those who want to intentionally make an abortion. This has resulted in numerous deaths due to unsafe abortions. Thousands of lives are lost each year because of complications related to unsafe abortion practices. Kenyan public policy has been developed on the basis of cultural beliefs of people of Kenya, medical as well as religious factors.
On the other hand, abortion in the US has been legalized with an aim of making it safe, thus reducing the number of deaths that are related to unsafe abortions. In the US abortion was made legal in all federal states in 1973 by the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Roe v Wade. This historic ruling transformed the public policy on abortion in the US. The public policy that has been developed in the US recognizes the fact that the issue of abortion has both medical and moral aspects to it (Lewis & Bob 24).
The Congress has ratified the law that legalized abortion in all states. The issue of abortion has raised much discussion among different members in the American society. The public policy has been developed taking into account rights of the unborn child as well as those of the pregnant mother. If the life of the mother is in danger, there is a need for the qualified health professional to perform a safe abortion procedure with an aim to save the life of the mother (McKinnon &Angus 60).
Religious groups in the US are strongly opposed to the legalization of abortion. They argue that abortion is immoral and contradicts to the law of God. Various groups in the US have been trying for years to make abortion illegal in support of this argument. Public policy on abortion in the US provides clear guidelines on what should be done in order for a person to have a safe abortion (Armstrong and Diana 30). Public policy on abortion has also created forums where people can discuss what should be done to reduce the number of deaths that are related to unsafe abortion. There is also the urgent need to address the question of the morality that has been raised by various proponents of moral values.
Kenya and the US have two different public policies regarding abortion. Kenya has adopted the moral path in relation to this subject. On the other hand, the US has adopted a path that seems immoral to proponents of religious moral values (Huffington 20). Public policy, which is adopted in the US regarding the issue of abortion advocates openness. It also gives individuals the right to decide whether they want to keep their child or not. The policy also pushes the government to provide health facilities, which will enable individuals to have safe abortions without having to endanger their lives. Kenya, on the other hand, adopted a policy that restricts an individual’s right to make a decision on whether to continue a pregnancy or to terminate it. From this comparison it is clear that public policy adopted by any country largely depends on its supreme law, cultural as well as moral values.
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