JAMAICA – A “necessary, personal and public health issue that needs to be addressed once and for all”

On 5 June, Julia Cuthbert-Flynn tabled a motion in the Jamaican parliament calling for a debate on the law that criminalises abortion. The NGO Advocates for the Partnership for the Promotion of Patients’ Rights in Maternal, Neonatal, and Infant Health (MNIH) welcomed the motion, which calls for the repeal of a law that threatens women with life imprisonment, with or without hard labour. The group noted that a conversation on “unsafe abortion and human rights” … Continued

JAMAICA – Experts urge repeal of 19th century abortion law

A group of experts in human rights in patient care attending the Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange on 10 April, in anticipation of the International Day for Maternal Health and Rights on 11 April, urged legislators to repeal sections of the 1864 Offences Against the Person Act which prevent Jamaican women from legally terminating pregnancies. “Unsafe abortion accounts for the third leading cause of maternal death. And why this is important is that maternal deaths and … Continued

JAMAICA – Health minister orders abortion audit to learn the extent of unsafe abortions

A Sunday Gleaner article reported that between January and September of this year, of the 1,088 pregnant women who presented to the Victoria Jubilee Hospital with bleeding in early pregnancy, 91 admitted to having attempted to have an abortion and an additional 47 had complications that suggested that they had attempted abortions. Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton ordered a medical audit across the public health system to determine the extent of the problem of … Continued

Abortion in dancehall music and the backstreets in Jamaica

Abortion is illegal in Jamaica except to save a woman’s life or preserve her physical or mental health under a law dating back to 1864. Public opposition has made discussion of changing the law difficult. But the Jamaican National Family Planning Board said it was reviewing its position on abortion after appointment of new board members in May.

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