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The Bible, babies & women's rights

Published:Wednesday | April 25, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Yendi Phillipps in all her glory! - Photos by Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer
Yvonne Myrie
Judith Wedderburn
Lurline McCalla-Thompson
Marsha-Gaye Forbes
Melvalyn Small
Ronald Miller
Vivan Watson
Beverley Campbell Small

Yendi Phillipps' announcement that she is expecting her first child
has ignited a firestorm of criticism from Jamaicans who believe a woman
should marry first.

Despite those criticisms, Phillipps has been getting support from others who have declared she has a right to do what she wants.

Yesterday, The Gleaner took to the streets to get even more views.

Judith Wedderburn, board member of Women's Media Watch

If it is the free choice of the young woman, I think she has her right to do it. But when I am concerned is when young girls become pregnant and they have not completed their education and they have no way of supporting themselves or the children. But, in principle, if it is an adult woman and she can take care of herself and the child, and assuming that she knows that growing up a child requires some basic things, I don't see anything wrong with it.

Yvonne Myrie, dean of discipline at Spalding High School

People should marry before having children, because you are talking about the values in our society. Most of the persons on the roads as criminals were from single-parent families. They don't know any father, and if we are to move Jamaica forward for the 21st century, we need to set examples.

VOX POP: Is it OK to have a child out of wedlock?

Vivan Watson, St Ann

Far too often we focus on the recreation aspect of sex without recognising that there is another aspect - procreation. I believe a couple should get married if they are planning to sustain a long-term relationship and want to have kids in the future.

Beverley Campbell Small, St Ann

The Bible speaks against it. ... I don't have a problem with it, but my choice is I'd rather get married then have children.

Ronald Miller, Portland

This practice is wrong. The Bible clearly outlines that fornication is wrong, and marriage is the only true way to indulge in sex and to have children. There are too many children being born out of wedlock, which often results in them having only one parent (single parent) or they end up becoming wards of the state.

Marsha-Gaye Forbes, Portland

From a biblical prospective it is wrong. However, there are circumstances when one might choose to have a child without committing to marriage. And, of course, there is the age factor. A woman would prefer to have her first child before the age of 30, so as to reduce the likelihood of any complications. Marriage is good; however, not everyone is inclined to such commitment and responsibility.

Lurline McCalla-Thompson, St Catherine

Nothing is wrong with having children outside of marriage, but a family background is important. Marriage is best because it's a commitment ... and it's always best to have two parents in the home. Of course, it's good to have both the mother and father around. When you have children outside of marriage, sometimes the father is at 'X' point and mother is at 'Y' point, which I don't think is best for the child.

Melvalyn Small, St Catherine

Sometimes you don't have the cash to get married before having children ... . Sometimes, even when you get married before you have children, it's worse than if you were never married. So nothing is wrong with having children and then get married.