A committee of Jamaica’s Parliament is hearing both protest and advocacy around abortion.
Although an advisory panel convened by former Health Minister John Junor called for legalization to lower the rate of maternal deaths, one doctor denounced the move as creating a “license to kill.”
Currently, Jamaicans who aid or abet an abortion can receive a life sentence in prison; a reformist measure would provide medical training and facilities, as well as abortion counseling and education.
The World Health Organization estimates that non-professionals perform 35 illegal abortions per 1,000 Jamaican women annually.
In May, The Ministry of Health and Environment launched a campaign to reduce the maternal mortality rate by 75 percent births by 2015 — however, critics said there was no such data to warrant the group’s suggestions.
Unicef reported an average of 95 maternal deaths per 100,000 Jamaican live births from 2000-2006.
–Lauren Riggs, Newsdesk.org
‘No licence to kill’
Jamaica Observer, November 21, 1008
“Campaign Launched to Reduce Maternal Mortality Rate”
Jamaican Information Service (government source), May 2, 2008