More public statements on abortion in Zika-related cases in Antigua & Barbuda

Support for the recommendation that abortion should be an option for women who are pregnant and may be affected by the Zika virus has been expressed by two women’s advocacy groups in Antigua & Barbuda and a noted gynaecologist. The gynaecologist, Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation, Alder Bynoe, suggested that women should have access to a range of options in response to Zika, and abortion should be one such option, and simply asking women to delay pregnancy was not enough.

The Professional Organisation for Women in Antigua & Barbuda (POWA) and Women Against Rape (WAR) are supporting the recommendation as well. Public Relations Officer for POWA, D Gisele Isaac said a woman’s health and her mental and emotional well-being should be paramount.

“Abortion is a decision for the parents of the baby, and the last word really should be from the woman, because she is the one who will be carrying and the one who will be the primary caregiver. So we have to look at her quality of life and the baby’s quality of life,” Isaac said.

The head of WAR, Alexandrina Wong, left the right to abort squarely in the hands of the woman. She said she started the premise that the twin island state lacks the infrastructure necessary to adequately support a baby born with a birth defect or provide assistance for the affected family.

SOURCE: Antigua Observer, 18 May 2016