Thu | Jan 20, 2022

Why is abortion now a hot-button issue?

Published:Monday | February 8, 2021 | 12:20 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

It is interesting to see the timing of the current debate on abortion in Jamaica. In the midst of a substantial economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a tremendous increase in crime, suddenly abortion has become the hot-button issue in Jamaica.

How is this even possible? This is a seemingly strange focus among some politicians while across the various constituencies, persons are simply clamoring for better roads, reopening of schools, and economic opportunities. Even persons who are pro-abortion in their views are very surprised that in the midst of a sustained crime spree in Jamaica, where some of the most vulnerable are being targeted and killed, that abortion is now taking pole position in terms of debate.

Who will address the big elephant in the room? The abortion industry is quite lucrative in the USA. It makes billions for some in the medical, political, lobbying and journalistic fields. Is this the same motivating factor that is influencing the debate in Jamaica under the guise of reproductive health? In 2017, an abortion procedure for a six-week-old infant costs between US$765-US$1,050. Once the infant was beyond 19 weeks, the procedure typically cost around US$1,700, and at 22-24 weeks, an abortion would cost as much as US$3,275. (Taken from The Abortion Industry is Pro-Cash, Not Pro-Choice, J. Denton, June 2017).

The money that abortion makes is not restricted to the medical community, as the funds are circular in nature. Planned Parenthood gets federal money which, in turn, is partially used for the political campaigns and contribution. Is this what is happening in Jamaica? Are we witnessing ‘he who pays the piper playing the tune’, or calling for a return on investment? The media also stands to make millions from abortion on demand in Jamaica, as an in-depth public relations strategy would have to be done in an attempt to change the minds of the populace from being pro-life to pro-abortion.

Perhaps it would be also useful to examine the racist origins of the abortion industry in the USA. Margaret Sanger, one of the founders of Planned Parenthood, was a known racist and eugenicist. She felt that minorities, such as blacks, were inferior to whites. It is on record that she referred to blacks as morons and misfits. Sanger felt that blacks should be sterilised (Brad Mattes, June 2020).

Mr Prime Minister, when reference is made to Jamaica’s Government, it is termed the Holness administration. None of the other parliamentarians have this great honour. This means, Mr Prime Minister, that you should take the lead when matters of great import face the nation, and this abortion debate fits the criteria.

The legalising of abortion in Jamaica cannot be left to a conscience vote of 63 parliamentarians; a referendum is required, and we expect the prime minister to lead in this area.

MARSHA THOMAS