Jamaica Parliament Creates Group to Examine Legalizing Abortion There

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 25, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 25, 2008

Kingston, Jamaica (LifeNews.com) — The Jamaica House of Representatives has signed off on the creation of a 10-member group to examine the possibility of legalizing abortion there. The move comes after a government report indicated the Caribbean nation should overturn its laws prohibiting abortions.

Doing so would have Jamaica join Cuba as the only other island nation in the western hemisphere to have legalized abortion.

The government claims the nation’s health system is burdened by the number of women injured by botched illegal abortions, but appears not to have looked at the possibility of improving pre-natal care or offering assistance to pregnant women to keep their babies.

According to a Jamaica Gleaner report, Health Minister Rudyard Spencer received Parliament’s approval to create a House committee to sit along with a Senate one to investigate the idea.

Jamaica received international attention last year when 22 year-old Miss Jamaica World 2006 Sara Lawrence gave up her crown rather than submit to an abortion when she became pregnant.

About her decision not to have an abortion, Lawrence said, "I believe that it is my moral obligation to do what I believe to be ethically correct and will follow what I believe to be right."

The young woman said her boyfriend supported her decision to keep the baby and added that she would have no problem continuing to pursue a career and raising her child at the same time.

"I will continue pursuing a career in medicine after the birth of my baby," Lawrence, who is 12 weeks pregnant, said.