Mon | Feb 6, 2023

Abortion debate farce

Published:Saturday | March 13, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

If disappointment was an ample term to bucket what I feel, it would be thousands of gallons full and far too heavy a burden to bear. The performance of the Joint Select Committee on Abortion to date only confirms what Jamaicans have always suspected: the leaders of this nation often treat our affairs with flagrant condescension.

Having attended many of these meetings, I can attest that a prompt start would almost be considered an absurdity. A meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. still witnesses arrivals an hour and a half later with no apology. At half past the hour, the chairman has to consider calling off the review because only five of 16 members are as yet present.

Still ignorant

Now, besides all that, this is what baffled me: After almost two years of deliberations, presentations and consultations, everyone of them are almost as ignorant as day one! How is it that after two years, Hyacinth Bennett is still struggling to come to a decision on the matter? With all due respect, that is weak. How is it that the committee is still struggling to understand recommendations that have been in front of them for over a year? How is it that they are still trying to define their role as the Joint Select Committee on Abortion? And why is it that it is so hard to have two-thirds of the committee present at any one time?

I must commend the chairman for steering the meeting towards some fruitfulness, but overall, futility was the dominant theme. All these public consultations and presentations so far seem like a democratic farce and a total waste of public funds, time and energy. Jamaicans deserve better.


Kingston 6