January 15, 2021 | By Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie |
“Some 22,000 abortions occur in Jamaica each year “
Stated State Minister Juliet Cuthbert flynn … a JLP MP for West Rural St. Andrew.
Argentina has legalized abortion of pregnancies for up to 14 weeks.
Bishop has criticized Juliet Cuthbert flynn for her stance on abortion and has called on PM Holness to “reign her in.”
Responding to the Bishop’s comments Minister Juliet Cuthbert flynn has come out swinging.
“I am entitled to my views and so is the Bishop.”
Asserts the State Minister in a controlled, but firm manner.
“We need to look at sex education. The barriers towards abortion are too restrictive. Some 22,000 abortions occur in Jamaica each year. We need to take a comprehensive look at the matter. There needs to be a conscience vote on the matter. On 2009 a direction was taken in Parliament. As a lawmaker, I have an obligation to make laws and upgrade outdated laws. It is important that we review this 1861 anti-abortion law. Since 1861 this law has never been amended on our books. Abortion is a crime on our books … it is:
“An offence against the people’s act.”
Since 2018, I brought the matter to Parliament. I am aware that it is a contraversal matter. This is a Christian country. We have the most churches per square mile in the world. Let us go ahead and do a conscience vote on this in Parliament. We continue to stigmatize women and criminalize them. As a citizen I have a right to have my views heard. We also have the most bars. We as women should have a right to do what we want to do with our bodies. A doctor will not allow a woman to die if the woman’s life is in danger. Now during COVID I go to hospitals and see young girls at 13 with their big belly … pregnant. I am in charge of maternal health. Ince
Juliet Cuthbert flynn, State Minister in the Ministry of Health. “
“I want to improve the maternity floor at Jubilee also the National Blood Bank and Spanish Town Hospital where new equipment was recently installed. She also has responsibility for HIV among other areas of health including drug abuse and Maternal health.
Drug abuse is a cultural thing. Young children are given alcohol.
This vote on abortion should be a private conscience vote.”
Asserts the former Olympian.
“Incest and should a woman be raped were also the other reasons why abortions should be legalized”
According to Cuthbert flynn as she strongly defended her position on Abortion.
Phillipa Davis says: “There is irrepairable damage to the uterus of the woman and of course this would kill the baby.”
Nadeen Spence, public commentator and Gender Advocate disagrees.
“Abortion can be spontaneous … “
Asserts Spence as she rejected comments made by Phillipa Davis, an attorney-at-law.
Father Sean Major Campbell, an Anglican Priest said:
“The Parliament should not play church. It is to do the People’s business. Many poor women continue to suffer, because we do not act … I support Mrs Cuthbert flynn. She is doing the right thing as a lawmaker.”
This matter of abortion has been hot if not contraversal a topic in Jamaica for years. Many wish to pretend that abortions do not exist. It is illegal on our law books, based on the 1861 law which was never repealed or amended. We watch the debate with interest. A joint Select Committee of Parliament has been debating this issue of Abortion. It has been debated over the years, but fell off the Order Paper in Parliament due to lack of a decision. Since 2018 it was reintroduced. Then Back Bencher MP Juliet Cuthbert flynn reintroduced a Private Member’s Bill. Since then it fell off the Order Paper in Parliament.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie, a veteran journalist has been monitoring this radio interview on the vexed issue of abortion. To each his own.