Jamaica Nurses Association Says Promote Better Health Care, Not Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 5, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Jamaica Nurses Association Says Promote Better Health Care, Not Abortion

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 5
, 2008

Kingston, Jamaica (LifeNews.com) — While the Jamaican government continues to evaluate a proposal to legalize abortions, the national nurses association says the government’s time and money would be better spent promoting better health care than promoting abortions.

The government is considering a proposal to legalize abortions for any reason up to 22 weeks of pregnancy.

A 17-member Abortion Policy Review Advisory Group composed of doctors and ministers says the island nation should legalize abortion because women are injured by illegal abortions annually.

But members of the Nurses’ Association of Jamaica (NAJ) say that’s wrongheaded and NAJ president Edith Allwood-Anderson says her group will actively oppose any attempt by Parliament to legalize abortion.

"An attempt by any government to make abortion widely available will be met by extensive agitation and opposition from us (members of the NAJ)," she said.

"Abortion leads to psychological, self-esteem and medical problems and a change in personality. It will cost you more to treat these women in the long run. There are also others who will never get pregnant again," the nurse added.

Allwood-Anderson told the Jamaica Gleaner that NAJ favors promoting contraception as an alternative to abortion.

"Family-planning services have been cut. People can’t get the methods," she told the newspaper.

Meanwhile, NAJ and pro-life leader Dr. Doreen Brady West, who chaired an April 28 meeting of pro-life advocates, doctors and nurses, told The Sunday Gleaner: "Jamaica has basic needs now which are unmet in the health field."

"To leave these and to go and create abortion clinics would be a clear departure from the philosophy of practicing the healing art," she said.

Doctors who attended the meeting also told the newspaper that there is a shortage of physicians in legitimate medical fields and they said government should instead focus on that problem.

Some governmental leaders say abortion should be legalized because there are so many illegal abortions, but pro-life advocates note legalizing abortion doesn’t necessary make it safer as women in industrialized nations with legal abortions are still killed and injured from them.

Also, Fr. Tom Euteneuer of Human Life International told LifeNews.com the government and abortion advocates there are inflating the number of women who are injured by illegal abortions.

“They grossly exaggerate or skew the numbers of women being harmed and killed by illegal abortionists and then on the basis of their voluminous reports to government and scare tactics, they push the agenda to legalize abortion claiming that they are the real champions of women,” he said.

In January, the Jamaica House of Representatives signed off on the creation of the committee and pro-life groups have been organizing to oppose legalization ever since.

Should Jamaica legalize abortions, it would join Cuba as the only other island nation in the western hemisphere to have legalized abortion.

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 said.

Related web sites:
Defend Life Jamaica – https://www.defendlifejamaica.com