Jamaica Committee Examining Legalizing Abortion Continues Heated Debate
by Steven Ertelt
July 11, 2008
Kingston, Jamaica (LifeNews.com) — The Jamaica governmental committee evaluating a proposal to legalize abortion continued its debate on Thursday. One side focused on deaths of women engaging in illegal abortions while the other said making abortions legal won’t make them safer.
The government is considering a proposal to legalize abortions for any reason up to 22 weeks of pregnancy.
One member of the panel, a Dr. Hall, talked about a recent case of a girl who wanted to get an abortion early in pregnancy but didn’t have the funds.
By the time she had enough money to pay the illegal abortion practitioner, she suffered complications after an abortion done at 24 weeks into pregnancy and died.
But Radio Jamaica reported on comments from Senator Dwight Nelson, who said more must be done to provide women with good health care and pregnancy resources rather than pushing abortion.
He said making abortion legal doesn’t make it safer for women.
"Abortion and its complications are very significant contributors to mortality, adolescent mortality and therefore the solution in addressing this is to make an illegal act legal?" he asked rhetorically.
The radio station reported that the committee agreed that the general public should have input on the measure and the panel has allotted 40 days for the public to submit its views.
The committee plans advertising to make people aware of the opportunity.
In May, the national nurses association said the government’s time and money would be better spent promoting better health care than promoting abortions.
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.
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