Tuesday | February 9, 2021
We have been
here before. We were here in 1975 when Health Minister Kenneth McNeill, after
his recognition of the high mortality rate of Jamaican mothers and the increase
in complications as a result of unsafe abortion practices, placed the need for
amendments to the 1865 Act to allow for abortions in special circumstances
(cases on incest, statutory rape, and carnal abuse).
We were here in 2007, when Minister Horace Dalley commissioned the Abortion
Policy Review Group to engage research about the landscape of abortion in
Jamaica and they presented a document with recommendations on a potential way
forward. We were here in 2018 and 2019, when MP Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn put forth
a motion to repeal the sections of the Offences Against the Person Act that
makes abortions illegal and replace it with civil law, Termination of Pregnancy
The time has come to make access to abortion services legal
Published: Saturday | February 2, 2019
The abortion debate in Jamaica is as old as time but there has barely been any positive action to provide women with access to safe, legal and affordable services to terminate pregnancies. Instead, we pussyfoot with our obligations and responsibilities. We pretend abortion services aren’t needed and shouldn’t be allowed and carry on as if a handful of liberal minded Jamaicans are trying to take the country down a path of destruction.
If we are to be honest with ourselves, we would agree that everyone knows or knows of someone in their community who has had an abortion. We know that many of these have been botched and result in serious complications to the woman because they accessed unsafe services from individuals who are not adequately trained to perform an abortion.