Disclose all facts for honest abortion debate

Friday, April 20, 2018

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Dear Editor,

I write regarding the news report headlined 'Abortion plea' published Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

The claim was made by the interviewed health-care professionals that unsafe abortions are a leading cause of maternal deaths and that legalising abortion is the safer and better 'health care' measure.

This is a false use of language. Abortion-related maternal deaths have nothing to do with the legal status of abortion.

Abortion, a surgical intervention to intentionally end the life of a living yet unborn human being, is by nature unsafe. Somebody always ends up dead. In 100 per cent of 'successful' abortion cases, it is the most vulnerable party — the unborn child — who is discriminated against. In some cases both the child and mother die, but not because of the legality or illegality of abortion.

How so? Empirical evidence establishes that life-threatening complications attend every abortion. One US study in the year 2000 on outcomes of legal (so-called 'safe') abortion reports that 17 per cent of women experienced abdominal bleeding or pelvic infection among other damage to other internal organs. Other studies report that post-abortive women are 200 per cent - 300 per cent at increased risk for cervical and breast cancer.

The link between abortion and mental ill-health in post-abortive women has been well documented. This includes depression, guilt and anniversary grief. The British Journal of Psychiatry (2011) reported that abortion increases the mother's risk for alcohol abuse by 110 per cent and suicidal behaviours by 155 per cent.

Other US studies register increased risk for miscarriage or premature births in future pregnancies, sexual dysfunction and relationship problems.

Similar studies have also shown that women carrying their pregnancy to term, even where unwanted, were significantly at a lower risk for these physical and emotional complications.

All facts must be disclosed in any honest discussion about abortion.

One of the medical professionals in the Observer news report is quoted as asking whether terminating a pregnancy is “really crime”. Note the following:

1. The British Heart Foundation at Oxford reported in 2016 that an unborn baby's first heartbeat is at 16 days (three weeks) after conception, perhaps even before the mother realises she is pregnant.

2. At week eight that unborn baby can feel pain.

3. The Convention of the Rights of the Child (1989), to which Jamaica is a signatory, declares that “The child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.”

What then would that medical professional prefer to call the deliberate ending of the life of a defenceless child?

Suppressing the truth in the name of political ideology is a grave transgression of the Hippocratic Oath to “first do no harm”, which all medical professionals have sworn by.

Reece Briscoe


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