The Church needs to rein itself in

The Church needs to rein itself in

...leave Cuthbert-Flynn alone

Shanica Blair

Thursday, January 14, 2021

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Jamaicans love to we say we are a Christian country, but the truth is we are very far from it. And so, it would be best for the umbrella groups representing our divided churches to focus on matters of their personal religious beliefs as a group and leave the Government of our beautiful country to take care of matters concerning the “world”, where they cater to many people from different experiences, walks of life, and beliefs who are looking to coexist.

On behalf of many well-thinking Jamaicans, I am calling on the chairman of Jamaica Cause and vice-president of the Jamaica Association of Evangelicals, Bishop Alvin Bailey, to instead rein himself in and leave Prime Minister Andrew Holness and his Administration to run our country.

Do not believe that you can use the minister of state in the Ministry of Health and Wellness Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn as a scapegoat because of her public support of abortion. There are many other women standing behind her, including many women who can be found in congregations all over the island.

Leave women's business alone, and “shut yuh mouth wid yuh likkle bit of experience” when it comes to things concerning human beings with vaginas. There are so many ills that can be found among congregants in Church that need your attention.

Why does it affect you so much what a woman does with her body when you don't know her or her story? Who told you that a woman having an abortion doesn't value the sanctity of life? Who told you that it is an easy decision to make?

Every day Christians get up and talk about leaving all judgement to God, yet still they feel like the issue of abortion is not one of those things.

If light should ever come to day, so many Christian women will tell you that they have had an abortion before, but because it is a private matter they have chosen to let it stay between them and their God.

Not because Cuthbert-Flynn has taken up the mantle means that nobody else supports it. Along with Prime Minister Andrew Holness and the rest of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP)-led Government they are not necessarily saying they agree with abortions, all they are simply doing is making the service available to those women among us who have searched themselves and their situations and have decided that it is best to terminate a pregnancy at a particular time in their life. It is the job of any responsible Government to make provisions for them to do so under healthy, safe, and approved circumstances.

Leave the authorities of the world and the law to govern our country while the Church focuses on its own morality and getting more people to join it. You all talk about the world so much, yet still you won't leave it alone.

I, along with thousands of women across the length and breath of Jamaica, do agree with Cuthbert-Flynn that the issue of women having a right to safe and healthy abortions be placed back on the parliamentary agenda and a conscience vote be pursued to amend the existing laws in Jamaica.

Take it from me as a woman, Bishop Bailey, it is better to know that such a service is available if needs be, than to allow many of our women and girls to do so under unsafe conditions, because the truth is that it will never stop; women will just continue to hide and do so unsafely. Too many women end up at hospitals because of botched abortions. Make the service available for those women, girls and distraught families who might need it during what many will find to be one of the hardest, lowest, and most difficult times of their lives having to ponder a decision such as that.

We all have our individual life journey, Bishop Bailey, so focus on yours and the one that pays.

Shanica Blair is communication, gender and development specialist. Send comments to the Jamaica Observer or

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