Sun | Jul 22, 2018

Jamaicans believe abortion is immoral and sinful

Published:Wednesday | May 16, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer

(The Johnson Survey Research Limited poll on ‘A Woman’s Right to Choose’was sponsored by The Gleaner, the Ministry of Health and the National Health Fund.)

Child rights advocate Betty Ann Blaine was not surprised when a recent Bill Johnson poll revealed that the majority of Jamaicans believed that abortion was immoral, sinful and against their religious beliefs.

The all-island poll conducted by Johnson Survey Research Limited, titled 'A Woman's Right to Choose', showed that 42 per cent of respondents strongly agreed that abortion was immoral, 29 per cent agreed, and 18 per cent disagreed. Four per cent strongly disagreed.

Blaine, the founder of the Hear the Children's Cry group, said that her work with a number of women for many years signalled that the issue was a complex one.

"Jamaica is, in fact, a Christian nation. So, I am not surprised when you get this kind of result in a country where there are a lot of practising and sincere Christians, who take seriously the whole issue of what the Bible says about life and the sanctity of life," she told The Gleaner.

"I have dealt with a lot of women in my work for many decades, and those include women who have done abortions. I have not met one woman who has not regretted having an abortion," Blaine stated.

She implored policymakers to ensure that decisions made around the issue of abortion factor in the deep emotional baggage that usually plagues women.

 

EMOTIONAL SCARS

 

"This issue is deeply emotional for a lot of women. This is why people who are pro-choice, I don't think they fully understand how women really feel about this. A woman who has had an abortion typically never forgets it, and if they had an alternative, they would not have had an abortion," Blaine argued.

"Personally, I don't condemn any woman who has done an abortion. What I prefer is what the Roman Catholics hold to, which is to help you with that child rather than having to terminate the life.

"I would caution the Government, if they are considering legalising abortion, that they take the poll results seriously. I am sure women were among those who participated and it is clear that women are generally not in favour of abortion," said Blaine.

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com