JAMAICA – Jamaicans for Justice push for abortion to be legalised

Human rights group Jamaicans for Justice have added their voices to those of others advocating for the decriminalising of abortion in Jamaica.

Government MP Juliet Cuthbert Flynn and her Opposition colleague Lisa Hannah have both, on separate occasions, called for parliamentary action to amend the country’s abortion law.

According to Section 72 of the Offences Against the Person Act, anyone found guilty of having or facilitating an abortion could be sentenced to life in prison, with or without hard labour.

Mickel Jackson, Executive Director of Jamaicans for Justice, is pushing for there to be expressed provisions in law for the procedure.

“We cannot rely on Common Law or policy statements, to say that doctors can act in this particular way (carry out abortions in certain circumstances), because policy obviously has to be subjected to what the law allows,” she noted, highlighting the fact that “currently, what is on the books makes no exception for an abortion to be done.”

Not even victims of rape are currently allowed to legally have an abortion, she said.

SOURCE: Radio Jamaica News Online, 2 December 2023 + Podcast by Mickel Jackson, Executive Director of Jamaicans for Justice ; PHOTO