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Family planning board supporting Hanna on abortion call

Published:Monday | April 27, 2015 | 12:56 PM
Hanna ... warns that more poor, unfortunate women and girls will continue to be hurt if Jamaica further delays legalising abortion.

The National Family Planning Board has come out in support of Youth Minister Lisa Hanna who has been facing criticism for her recent advocacy for the anti-abortion laws to be repealed.

Speaking on The Gleaner Online's current affairs programme On the Record, Hanna said Jamaica needs to be progressive and get rid of the intrusive and disempowering anti-abortion law.

She said this would settle a debate that has been raging for at least 40 years.

She also warned that more poor, unfortunate women and girls will continue to be hurt if Jamaica further delays legalising abortion.

But she has been criticised with some people calling for her to be stripped of her portfolio responsibility. 

In a response, head of the family planning board, Dr. Sandra Knight questioned why Hanna is being vilified for her comments. 

She says there needs to be a fullsome and objective discussion on the issue.

The health administrator argues that pregnancies are terminated in Jamaica every day. 

And she says regulating the activity is essential, but this cannot be done while it is illegal.

Knight also says the right of a woman to choose after adequate counsel is undeniable.

According to Section 72 of the Offences Against the Person Act, anyone found guilty of having or facilitating an abortion could be sentenced to life in prison.