Roman Catholic bishops in Kenya have cautioned the government against joining a global push for birth control, citing concerns about its effect on society and family values.

The bishops spoke following reports the country had agreed to a new global campaign on family planning that was announced at a population summit in London in mid-July. Attendees, which included nearly 150 leaders from both government and private sector organizations, agreed to an effort to provide contraceptives for at least 120 million women and girls in developing countries by 2020.

“The drive by foreign target millions of girls and women in Africa for the artificial family unimaginable, dangerous and could lead to the destruction of human society,” said the bishops’ statement, signed by Cardinal John Njue on July 20.

The bishops opposed what they referred to as participation in the “foreign funded international agenda” that will lead to the loss of independence and African values.

“It is not clear why such a large amount of money is being used on contraceptives, while many women are dying daily due to lack of proper medical care, food and housing,” said Njue.

The use of artificial contraceptives is dehumanizing and goes against the teaching of the Catholic Church, the bishops said, adding that through natural family planning, there were other efficient ways of proactive and responsible parenthood.

Kenya has one of the highest birth rates in the world, but the leaders said they wanted to remind the government that countries that implemented strict birth control programs are now regretting declining populations, despite great achievements in development.