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MAJ president supports abortion option for pregnant women with ZIKV

Published:Thursday | July 21, 2016 | 7:31 PM

Sherine Williams, Gleaner Writer

At least one medical doctor is supporting the call by St. Ann North West MP Dr Dayton Campbell for abortion services to be made available to pregnant women who are confirmed to be carrying a baby with microcephaly.

Campbell, who is also a medical doctor, made the call in parliament earlier this week, saying an ultrasound should be able to show if babies have abnormally small heads which is a sign of microcephaly.

Microcephaly is an abnormality where babies are born with small heads.

Dr. Myrton Smith, the President of the Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ), says he agrees with Dr. Dayton Campbell.

Smith says abortion should be an option for pregnant women carrying microcephaly babies as long as the procedure is safe and both parents agree that it should be done.


MAJ president, Dr. Myrton Smith

Smith, noting that this was a personal position, said the MAJ has not formally discussed the matter of abortion services for pregnant women with the Zika virus.

However, he says the MAJ has always expressed support for safe abortions to be granted in specific circumstances.

Jamaican laws criminalise abortion except  in certain circumstances.

Latest data show that 231 pregnant women are suspected to have the Zika virus with seven confirmed cases.

The health ministry has asked women to delay pregnancy for at least a year and a half as ZIKV spreads across the island.