Letters to the Editor

Too much dust being thrown in abortion debate

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

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Dear Editor,

I have read with increasing disappointment as the abortion debate has gone from an engaging conversation to a cacophony of ridiculous assertions.

I generally do not like to point fingers, but whenever the more religiously indoctrinated become involved in these discussions they often veer left and we lose sight of what is important.

Member of Parliament Juliet Cuthbert Flynn started this debate with a story that almost everyone has forgotten. She started with the story of her constituent dying after having a clandestine abortion. Not sick for a few days, not in pain, but dead. A death that was very much avoidable.

Like a good representative, she did what she was elected to do. She lent her voice to a call for law reform so that no more of her constituents would face such a fate.

Somehow we have forgotten that Cuthbert Flynn, a woman who has a child and understands the “miracle of childbirth”, just like Lisa Hanna who made a similar recommendation before her, has premised the entire debate on saving the lives of women.

We have fallen deep into a rabbit hole of Father Ho Lung wishing death upon himself, a medical doctor (who should know better) saying safer abortion services would not reduce maternal mortality rates, and now commentators suggesting that evil external forces in the form of Planned Parenthood are behind all of this.

But while the members of the local church community with these extreme views and their international friends that they meet with often (who choose Jamaica and other majority black countries to fight the battles they lost in North America and Europe) draw battle lines in the sand to start a war no one is interested in, let's remember the woman who started it all. Let's remember you are drawing a line in the earth over the dead bodies of other Jamaican women like her who deserve better.

Let's try having a more civilised conversation with the recognition that decriminalising abortion doesn't force any woman to have one. It gives her a choice.

Glenroy Murray

Advisor, Equality for All Foundation Jamaica Ltd

glenroy.am.murray@gmail.com


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