Abortion Debate Resurfaces

The debate surrounding the legalization of abortion has again been brought to the forefront. Some Jamaicans are questioning whether the recent overruling in the Roe V Wade case in the US, will make it even more difficult for Jamaica to amend its abortion laws. On the heels of a major decades-long abortion judgment being overruled in the United States, ultimately paving the way for criminalizing the act in several states, some Jamaicans are revisiting the country’s current legislation which also makes abortion illegal.

As it stands, the offences against the Person Act of 1864 states a pregnant woman who seeks abortion and anyone helping her to obtain one is subject to prosecution. Clergyman and presiding Bishop of the Holiness Christian Churches Dr. Alvin Bailey commends the recent ruling in the US, and reiterates that Jamaica should continue to stand its ground on saying no to abortion. Bishop bailey says abortion should not be allowed under any circumstance. He rejects the view that women should be able to do whatever they want with their bodies. 

This notion is however flatly rejected by Women’s Rights Activist Shelly-Ann Weeks, who says she finds it ironic how anti-abortionists, seemingly give very little regard for the life of the woman. She says it further magnifies her belief that the culture cares very little about women and this positive adopted by anti-abortionists is troubling.

Reporter: Velonique Bowen