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Roman Catholics signal willingness to care for microcephaly babies amid abortion suggestions

Published:Monday | September 26, 2016 | 9:16 AM
Holy Trinity Cathedral, North Street, central Kingston.

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kingston, the Most Reverend Kenneth D Richards, has signalled the willingness of his church to care for babies born with microcephaly.

The offer comes amid suggestions that abortion should be an option for women carrying babies suspected of having the condition.
Richards says Jamaica must preserve its humanity and not succumb to the easy way out of the current crisis associated with the Zika virus.

Microcephaly is one of the conditions linked to the Zika virus, now affecting the island.

Member of Parliament for north west St Ann, Dr Dayton Campbell, had suggested that abortion should be an option for pregnant women who have contracted the virus.

However, the Roman Catholic priest says the MP’s position expresses prejudice against disabled persons.

Richards argues that it shows support for eugenics, which is the selective destruction of persons subjectively considered imperfect.

He also says since microcephaly in babies cannot be detected until the third trimester of pregnancy, it would be a travesty to recommend termination based on the fear that the unborn child may be diagnosed with microcephaly.

He says the Catholic Church in Jamaica through the ministry of The Missionaries of the Poor and Mustard Seed Communities will receive and care for any child with microcephaly.

The Jamaica Star recently reported an alleged increase in Jamaicans seeking illegal abortions amid the spread of Zika.