Committed Christians in support of abortion up to 12 weeks

Committed Christians in support of abortion up to 12 weeks

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

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We , as committed Christians, fully support the call for abortion or termination of pregnancy on the terms advocated by the advisory committee to the parliamentary select committee of 2007-2009 and by the Partnership for Women's Health and Well-being. These terms include: The procedure being carried out within the health system by a qualified medical practitioner, not recommended beyond 12 weeks, involving pre- and post-abortion counselling, and with special provisions for pregnant girls under 18 years of age.

We recognise that terminating a pregnancy is never an easy decision, but we hold out the compassion of Christ to all women faced with this decision. We also feel the pain of those sisters who have had miscarriages or are unable to conceive.

Why do we support the termination of a pregnancy/abortion on these terms?

1. The Creator has given us all the ability to collectively understand the laws of science as we continue to explore and appreciate the marvellous world of God's creation. No branch of knowledge works more in teams than science, across all political barriers. We unwittingly insult God when we do not use this amazing knowledge to further our understanding of life.

2. Science tells us that at six weeks the embryo is so tiny it can fit within our small finger nail; at eight weeks it weighs 1/30th of an ounce. At 12 weeks, now called a foetus, it is four inches long and weighs one ounce. It has all its organs, but none are functioning. Science tells us that the foetus is not able to function fully independently outside the womb until 23 weeks. Aborting an embryo up to 12 weeks is not murdering a baby. There are pictures being circulated to promote this idea that an embryo of 12 weeks or less is an almost fully grown foetus (at 23 or more weeks when it is viable). This is, unfortunately, highly deceptive. In today's jargon they are fake news!

3. We are making this statement not out of anger, but out of the fullness of our love and our commitment to people's well-being. There are many examples of the situations into which a woman or man may not wish to bring another into the world. They do not have the resources, human and financial, to raise another child or there is serious stress associated with the pregnancy. The decision to terminate a pregnancy is never an easy one but bringing unwanted pregnancies to term leads to unwanted children, often without access to caring adults, and subject to abuse from stressed mothers or fathers. The stress in these circumstances can severely impact the development of the child. Where a child is subject to chronic stressful events as can occur in circumstances where the mother, in particular, is incapable of providing the necessary loving atmosphere, the resulting toxic stress can result in smaller brains or change the stress system so that the child has a lower ability to endure stress, which can later lead to physical and mental illness ( Excessive Stress Disrupts the Architecture of the Developing Brain, National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, USA, 2005).

4. We are clear:

• Abortion up to 12 weeks is not killing a human person.

• God is unimaginable goodness and love. The abundance and fertility of nature is all around us and includes our own fertility; for example, 30 per cent of pregnancies result in spontaneous abortion within three weeks of conception. We conclude that there is nothing that suggests that women are to be seen as mass producers of as many children as they can bear. Instead children, women, men and life in general are to be treated with respect and care.

• Life has many twists and turns and these include unwanted pregnancies. Women must be free to reject an undeveloped embryo or foetus in order to better preserve their lives and the lives of their present or future children.

• If we follow Christ, we bring compassion, humility, and love to all.

Dr Anna Kasafa Perkins, coordinator, Caribbean Women Theologians for Transformation

Jennifer Jones

Rev Rachele “Evie” Vernon O'Brian

Gillian Glean Walker

Linnette Vassall

Horace Levy

Fr Sean Major-Campbell

Leith Dunn

Rev Dr Sonia Hinds

Rev Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth, chief executive officer, Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation

Rev Kelli Jolly

Patricia Donald Phillips

Dr Pansy Hamilton

Rev Dr Margaret Fowler

Dr Deanna Ashley

Professor Affette McCaw-Binns

Professor Elizabeth Thomas-Hope

Rev Raymond Coke

Ruth Coke

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