Church leads protest against abortion

January 31, 2019
Ian Allen photos
Several church leaders outside Gordon House in Kingston yesterday to protest against the legalisation of abortion.
Ian Allen photos Several church leaders outside Gordon House in Kingston yesterday to protest against the legalisation of abortion.
Major Richard Cooke (left) and Dr Alvin Bailey, bishop of the Holiness Christian Church, make their way to Gordon House to protest against abortion yesterday.
Major Richard Cooke (left) and Dr Alvin Bailey, bishop of the Holiness Christian Church, make their way to Gordon House to protest against abortion yesterday.
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Following a symposium by church groups at the Jamaica Conference Centre yesterday, leaders of various churches made their way to Gordon House in Kingston to share their pro-life message with the Government.

Bishop Dr Alvin Bailey told our news team that the church is taking a stance against abortion.

"We are saying absolutely not, not in Jamaica. The church is against abortion. We believe that life begins at conception, so the church has made its voice known. We can't be silent in a country that we consider a Christian country. We believe it's extremely significant. The voice of the church is the voice of Jamaica," he said.

Legislators were expected to meet at Gordon House yesterday to debate Member of Parliament Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn's motion for abortion to be decriminalised.

The private member's motion brought by the government backbencher in 2018 called on the Government to repeal legislation that makes abortion illegal.

Cuthbert-Flynn, the member of parliament for St Andrew West Rural, said that she lost a constituent as a result of complications from a botched abortion and is determined to be the passionate voice of the abortion rights lobby.

Despite those views, Major Richard Cooke, president of the Joy Town Community Development Foundation, told THE STAR that Jamaica needs to know how horrendous abortions are.

"Not just for the unborn child, you destroy a child, literally murder a child, but also on the womb. This fallacy about the anti-abortion group being against women, it's for woman," Cooke said.

The church leaders said that collectively they will do whatever is within their powers to block the Government from following through on the proposed bill to make abortion legal.

"We have decided to do whatever is in the laws to make it very very clear that there are damages that are being done and will be done when abortions are committed. And so we do not have any plan except that whenever, however, and wherever we can within the ambit of the law make the statement strong and prevent any action to legalise abortion in Jamaica," Bailey told our news team.

Dr Doreen Brady-West, chair of the Ethics Committee, Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, in declaring her stance on the subject, had a strong message for anyone who contends that a foetus is not a human being.

"Those who say the foetus is not a human being are denying the obvious in order to support the unthinkable. The science is clear. The existence of that human being begins at fertilisation when the sperm penetrates the egg," she said.

Brady-West also said that the existence of every parliamentarian in the house and every member of the joint select committee began at the point of fertilisation.

"That's not a religious point. That's a scientific point," she said.

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