House committee recommends conscience vote on abortion
BY BALFORD HENRY, Senior staff reporter
Saturday, March 28, 2020
THE House of Representatives' Human Resources and Social Development Select Committee has recommended that Members of Parliament make a “conscience” vote to determine whether or not abortion should be legalised in Jamaica.
The recommendation was obviously the likeliest response from the 11-member committee, chaired by Opposition MP and Roman Catholic Deacon Ronald Thwaites, after listening to the divisive views of more than 70 local and overseas institutions, individuals and emotional experts for a little over two years.
Abortion: whose decision?
Yvonne McCalla Sobers
Published: Sunday August 11, 2019
Some church persons are using biblical teachings in an attempt to coerce the State into continuing to treat a woman as a criminal if she chooses to have an abortion. Scare tactics, backed up by horrific footage, have been used to equate abortion with murder.
These advocates have every right to influence the moral choices of their church members in particular, and the society in general. However, laws in a secular state need to apply equally to non-believers and believers (such as Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Revivalists, and Rastafarians).
Dr. Gabrielle Jamela Hosein
Diary of a Mothering Worker
Apr 24, 2019
THERE ARE women in every neighbourhood in TT who have terminated a pregnancy at least once. From here, our support to current efforts to decriminalise abortion in Jamaica should be clear.
In TT, women can risk jail and pay for a private medical procedure. If they cannot pay, or because poverty, age, lack of information and partner violence prevented them from being supported enough in this life decision, they could end up in hospital with various harms caused from unsafe options, as more than 2,000 women do here every year.
Carolyn Cooper | Women dying for abortion rights
Published: Sunday | March 10, 2019
The facts are bloodcurdling. The Partnership for Women’s Health and Well-being has issued a grave reminder that we simply cannot ignore.
“The practice of unsafe abortions and the consequences of abortions performed by untrained, non-specialist physicians can result in a number of complications for women, including: severe infections, gangrene in the uterus, hemorrhaging, tearing of the cervix, uterine perforation, laceration of the vaginal wall and untimely death.”
Devout Jamaica debates green light for abortion after rape, incest
by Kate Chappell | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Monday, 25 February 2019
KINGSTON, Feb 25 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Anna-Kay was 21 the first time she got pregnant, in her second year of university, and worried of the shame that would follow if she told her parents.
So Anna-Kay did what about 22,000 women in Jamaica do every year, according to government data, and broke the law. She sold her cell phone to get JM$20,000 (US$150) to pay for an abortion.
ONLINE POLL RESULTS: 51% says no to legalising abortion
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Of the 203 respondents to a recent OBSERVER ONLINE poll, 51 per cent said no to the Jamaican Government legalising abortion.
Government Member of Parliament for West Rural St Andrew, Juliet Cuthbert Flynn, on October 9, opened a debate in the House of Representatives on her motion seeking to have abortion made legal in the island.
Letter of the Day | Break down barriers to abortion
Published:Saturday | November 3, 2018
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Jamaica, like many developing countries across the world, is in need of laws that create space for safe-abortion care. Many persons in Jamaica, particularly men, seem to have this notion that women shouldn't have the right to access abortion care because it is their duty to carry children no matter how having that child may affect their life.
Professor Wendel Abel, head of The University of the West Indies' (UWI) Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, stated on Tuesday, October 10, 2018, at a Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange: "Unsafe abortion accounts for the third leading cause of maternal death. And why this is important is that maternal deaths and under-five deaths are sensitive measures of the quality of our healthcare."
Abortion war needs dose of compassion
by Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health
Published: Sunday, October 28, 2018
Our consideration of abortion in Jamaica has, for too long, been characterised by contention and an apparent lack of empathy for those directly affected.
The result has been that there are vulnerable people who have been denied the space to express themselves on the issue, leaving some of us in the dark on the precise circumstances with which they are faced.
Editorial | Democratise right to abortion
Published:Sunday | October 28, 2018
As Christopher Tufton, the health minister, suggests, there is no need to reinvent the wheel with regard to the debate on abortion in Jamaica. At least, not totally. Parliament already has sufficient information on which to act.
So, the existing provisions of the Offences Against the Person Act, which make it almost impossible for a woman to terminate a pregnancy under any circumstance, are anachronistic and cruel and should be repealed forthwith.
JAMAICA – Abortion plea
April 10, 2018
Experts urge repeal of century-old law in jamaica
KINGSTON – Legislators are being urged to repeal sections of the more than century-old Offences Against the Person Act which prevent Jamaican women from legally terminating pregnancies.
The appeal came from a group of experts in human rights in patient care at yesterday’s Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange, ahead of International Day for Maternal Health and Rights being observed tomorrow.