Wed | Nov 21, 2018

Culture of death - Rape and incest not enough to justify abortion, say christian lawyers

Published:Tuesday | September 4, 2018 | 12:00 AMNadine Wilson-Harris/ Gleaner Writer
From left: Shirley Richards, attorney-at-law, member of Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship (LCF); Maurice Saunders, member of LCF; Helene Coley-Nicholson, president of LCF; and Christina Milford, founder/executive director of Pregnancy Resource Centre of Jamaica at LCF’s press briefing on the issue of ‘Abortion: Women and Children’s Rights’ at the headquarters of the New Testament Church of God, 8 Fairway Avenue, in St Andrew, yesterday.

Given what they believe to be "a culture of death" in the country, members of the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship (LCF) are urging Jamaicans to reject abortion and instead place more efforts on saving mothers and their unborn babies.

Towards this end, president of the LCF, Helene Coley-Nicholson, is hoping that Jamaicans will support the group's 'A Time for Life' campaign, which was launched yesterday at the New Testament Church of God headquarters at Fairway Avenue in St Andrew. The group is lobbying for the recommendation to decriminalise abortion to be aborted, among other things.

"Jamaica has seen enough violence, enough deaths, enough murder, enough rape. There is a culture of death and it includes the killing of the unborn," she said during the press conference to launch the campaign.

"It is inconsistent to condemn those who rape and murder our women and children, but condone the killing of babies in the womb."

A joint select committee on sexual offences is currently reviewing various issues, including abortion, and is expected to produce a report soon. In June, parliamentarian Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn tabled a motion for the Government to decriminalise abortion. There are concerns that such a move could be the catalyst for a conscience vote on abortion.

 

LIFE AND DEATH

 

Pastor of Hope Gospel Assembly, Peter Garth, is hoping that if such a vote is taken, parliamentarians will vote against decriminalising abortion.

"I, therefore, call on all parliamentarians to think seriously and to do more research before that conscience vote, because we are dealing with life and death," he urged. "I appeal to those who will vote to think seriously that we are dealing with the life of a human being."

Member of the LCF, Shirley Richards, believes that the justifications for abortion nowadays are highly questionable. She believes women who have been raped, for example, should be encouraged to report the traumatic experience earlier rather than being encouraged to abort when they become pregnant.

"The key is for women to be encouraged to report this crime, this terrible crime, as early as possible and then now, the doctors can do something about preventing conception. Not only will they prevent conception, but they will also prevent other things like HIV/AIDS. So the key is early reporting," she said.

nadine.wilson@gleanerjm.com