Dear Children, you have a right to knowFriday, March 19, 2021
BY Gregor Fong
Dear Children, you have the right to know that you have 19 legal rights that are written into Jamaican legislation. This set of laws is called the Child Care and Protection Act (2004).
I know it may sound a little boring, until you realise that it is because of these laws that you are to be given appropriate and accurate information. It is because of these laws that you are to be protected, that decisions to support your best interest should be promoted by the Government and caring adults, and that way you will become the best version of yourselves.
Dear Children, if I told you that a group of people want to take away these rights from you, what would you think? How would you feel? Would you want the rights to which you are now entitled replaced by ones that protect perverts if they hurt you sexually? Would you want that group to ask the Government to use the moneys for running the country, fixing roads, giving scholarships to students, and paying back big loans on behalf of our country to, instead, pay for ending the life of a baby if a pervert gets a little girl pregnant or if a mommy decides that she wasn't ready to have a baby? What if that baby were you? Would it be fair?
Dear Children, I know that this information is serious, but I think that you have the right to know.
Adoption means giving a baby to a family who will raise that baby to be part of their family, but abortion means something different. Abortion is a decision to end a baby's life while it is still in the mommy's tummy. Sometimes the mommy's body cannot carry the baby, because of health reasons. The body may then end the pregnancy on its own with a doctor's help. This is not the type of abortion that I am referring now.
Dear big brothers, little brothers, cousins, favourite aunties and uncles, 'good up' mommies and daddies, would you want your little sister, niece, or daughter, who hasn't yet sat her Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examinations, or her Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations to be afraid to step outside her home? No, not just because of crime, but also because the adult male in the community is given legal protection if he gets her pregnant, since he can order her to have an abortion?
Dear Children and Adults, I can sense your response by now.
No girl, female adolescent, or woman should have to give up their future dreams, long-term emotional health, or risk never being able to give birth to a child again because the laws of her country forced her to abort an unborn baby.
You have the right to know these are just some of the effects of abortion at any age. You have the right to know that there is really no safe planned abortion. Because an abortion is an interruption of a healthy, natural process of the development of a baby. More than 90 per cent of abortions are done because the individuals involved felt it was inconvenient to give birth to the baby. Is that fair to the unborn child? What if you were that baby?
Finally, I think that you have the right to know that there is a group of C-curious, A- activists who P-pretend to R-really care, but in reality are promoting I-irresponsible behaviour that, if allowed, can prevent you from enjoying your 19 legal rights.
Will you speak up, Children? Will you ask your students' councils to speak out on your behalf?
The is a group of people who hope to convince you that because you depend on parents and guardians for money, guidance, and resources; that because at your age you love freedom and want privileges; that an escape route for you should be to allow yourself to become sexually involved at an early age. I know that you are smarter than this. You know that cervical cancer is caused by early sexual activity, you know that sexually transmitted diseases/infections (STDs/STIs) can be passed on even if someone uses a condom, because condoms can break. You know that there is no condom that can prevent a broken heart. You know that you are precious and priceless and deserve better from your country's Government and from adults. You deserve to be allowed to enjoy your rights and not have them taken away.
Dear Children, please speak up. Let your voices be heard. That is one of your rights, too; the right to participation and to have a say in decisions that can affect your future.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login