Abortion Stirs Passions in Jamaica

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

Unicef Data Page: Jamaica

2 thoughts on “Abortion Stirs Passions in Jamaica

  1. Let me just clarify something. The Ministry of Health here in Jamaica gave as a part of the terms of reference in Specific Objective No. 3 to the Abortion Advisory Committee “To draft recommended amendments to the existing Offences Against the Person Act in support of terminations of pregnancy…” Your article above makes it seem as if the Advisory Committee independently arrived at their conclusion but from the beginning the conclusion was foregone. Even if there was an undirected conclusion, the head of the Abortion Advisory Committee admitted in the Jamaican press that the Committee was not in the business of looking into the rightness or wrongness of direct abortion.

    All direct abortions are wrong under all circumstances. Both the woman and the unborn child have equal rights to life. The human’s right to life can never cease. There is no just self defense argument against the unborn for there is no circumstance in which they are unjust aggressors, they are always innocent.

    “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.” 2271 Catechism of the Catholic Church

    In Christ,
    Romain Stewart

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