Tue | Nov 21, 2017

Gov't to appoint team for abortion audit assessment

Published:Tuesday | November 7, 2017 | 11:49 AM
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton. – File

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton says he’ll be appointing a small team to assess the findings of an audit to be done to find out the extent of the problem of women seeking unsafe abortions.

A Sunday Gleaner story revealed that between January and September of this year, of the 1,088 expectant mothers who presented to Victoria Jubilee Hospital with bleeding in early pregnancy, 91 admitted to having attempted to abort the foetus.

Meanwhile, an additional 47 had complications that suggested they had attempted abortions.

Some activists believe many unsafe abortions are being sought because there is no legal option for desperate women.

Tufton has ordered a medical audit across the public health system to determine the extent of the problem.

Speaking on Nationwide News Network last evening, Tufton said the audit findings will be used to determine how to address the issue.

 

Health minister Dr Christopher Tufton

Tufton also admitted he was startled when he first learnt of the numbers of attempted abortions recorded by the Victoria Jubilee Hospital.

 

Health minister Dr Christopher Tufton

The information on the botched abortions has triggered calls for discussion on the legal termination of pregnancies.

However, Chairman of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, Dr Wayne West, remains unconvinced allowing legal abortions is the solution to women endangering themselves by accessing risky termination procedures.