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Editors' Forum | West: J'cans should learn difference between abortion, termination

Published:Wednesday | July 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer

Dr Wayne West, chairman of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society (JCHS), believes Jamaicans should educate themselves about the difference between termination and abortion, noting that there is no justification, from a medical perspective, for aborting a child.

Responding to questions about what persons should do when a mother's health is in jeopardy, he said that the standard practice is to terminate the child.

"The question of what should happen when the mother's life is in jeopardy is a red herring. You hear it all the time, but it is a useless question. It is standard medical practice that if the woman's life is in jeopardy, you do not abort the pregnancy; you terminate it. There is a difference," West declared during a Gleaner Editors' Forum on Tuesday.

"With abortion, you go in and deliberately kill the child, whereas in a termination, you take the child out knowing that the child may not survive because we don't have the technology to keep it alive.

"As a standard medical practice, the child is terminated, meaning that the child is delivered and not killed. The solution to medical problems is medicine, not killing people. That is a witch doctor's behaviour," argued West.

He also reiterated the view that a human being has value from conception.

"The pro-abortion [position] or feminist ideology of a woman having the right to access an abortion up to any stage of the pregnancy, by whatever means necessary, up to the day before [giving birth] ... they have constructed that as a right ... . They then proceed to define the foetus as not being human.

"We, however, have a different ideological perspective. Our ideological perspective is that the human being has value from the time of conception and the society should be organised to give all human life - including mother, child and father - the best opportunity possible," the JCHS chairman said.