Sun | May 19, 2019

Carole Bridge | Listen to the heart of your people, Cuthbert-Flynn

Published:Saturday | April 20, 2019 | 12:13 AMCarole Bridge/Contributor
Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn

An open letter to Member of Parliament Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn:

As I shared my story before you in Parliament on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, I realised that we had similar stories. We both had brain tumors called prolactinomas while pregnant, but with different outcomes.

My baby was given the chance to live, yours was aborted. Many thoughts have come into my mind that I feel I should share with you and the Jamaican public.

First, please know that I do not judge you for aborting your baby. You were only 19 years old, your athletic career would probably have been jeopardised, and you were facing possible blindness and surgery.

Unlike what you shared in Parliament, a micro or macro prolactinoma can have serious side effects but is never life-threatening. I feel sure that your doctors must have convinced you that your only sensible course of action at that time was to have an abortion and it must have seemed to you that you really had no choice.

However, you have more knowledge at your disposal now. I understand that you want to ensure that young women faced with hard decisions and unwanted pregnancies can have medically ‘safe’ abortions but the taking of innocent lives can never be the solution to a problem.

I implore you not to open the way for Jamaica to sanction the murder of thousands of the future generation of this country by legalising abortion.

If a mother’s life is in danger from a medical condition, surgery can be performed on the mother without harm to the baby, and/or the baby delivered and given the best chance to live with all possible interventions. It may not always be possible to save the baby’s life at the time of delivery, but, importantly, the baby is not intentionally murdered and torn apart, as happens in an abortion.

Furthermore, there is no such thing as a ‘safe’ abortion. Abortions always kill a living human being. There is never any doubt about this. Even in 1868, Dr Horatio Storer, president of the American Medical Association Committee on abortion, declared “the fetus in utero is alive from the moment of conception”.

Abortions in and of themselves carry serious risks to the mother, such as a perforated uterus, scarring of the uterine lining, blood clots, pelvic infection, risk of haemorrhage and cut or torn cervixes, which can affect future pregnancies.

Why not campaign instead for young women to have access to information and economic and emotional support to help them through crisis pregnancies?

In Jamaica, we have the benefit of seeing the results of legalised abortions in other countries. In England, abortion was legalised in 1968 and since then there have been nine million babies aborted (Abortion Stats, England and Wales, 2016, June, 2018 Table). In addition to these horrific numbers, there is now the scandal of sex-selection abortion, with mainly girls and the disabled being aborted.

WITHDRAW MOTION

The motion which you brought to Parliament does not restrict abortion on demand to 22 weeks only, but can be used to support performing abortions at any stage of pregnancy. This is exactly what can happen now in New York, where full-term babies can be aborted up to the time of delivery because of a similar wording in their legislation.

From one mother to another, is this really what you want for Jamaica? We were proud of you as an athlete. Make us proud again; serve your country by preserving innocent life and not being responsible for destroying it.

I urge you to withdraw your motion. Your humility in doing this will only enhance your standing among the majority of Jamaican people who do not support legalising abortion. We will admire you all the more for listening to the heart of your people.

Carole Bridge is a member of Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society (JCHS). Email feedback to jchsadvocate@gmail.com and columns@gleanerjm.com