Tue | Nov 13, 2018

Gleaner Editors' Forum | Unborn, men have voice in terminations

Published:Wednesday | July 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Ivan Cruickshank
From left: Kavan Allen, youth pastor; Shirley Richards and Dr Wayne West of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society during an editors forum on abortion at the Gleaner's downtown Kingston office yesterday.
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Kavan Allen, youth pastor at the Fellowship Tabernacle Church in Kingston, believes that, for too long, discussions on abortion have been focused solely on the woman with total disregard for the innocent child.

Allen, who was among a group of panellists at a Gleaner Editors' Forum yesterday, said that he firmly believed that solutions should not only look at the livelihood of the woman but also take into account the "child who doesn't have a voice".

"Issues such as being raped and having botched abortions are issues that we care about, but at the same time, we have to take in account the child who is a life, too," Allen argued. "As such, I believe that we have to arrive at a solution that will help both the woman and the child. I can't see an answer that only looks at the need of the woman and totally throws through the window the input of a life," he declared.

"We have to come to a conclusion that uplifts and helps both parties involved. I'm passionate about it because the party that seems to be forgotten is the one who cannot speak and cannot tell their story - the one who is most vulnerable," Allen noted.

Shirley Richards, attorney-at-law and a member of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, shared similar sentiments but said that persons should not ignore the fact that men are hurting, too.

"What gives us the right to take the life of this vulnerable human being? We also speak glibly about safe abortions. Let us remember that abortions results in the death of a child and also hurt women. There is also the man's side, and many times men are hurt by abortions. We fail to remember that," she declared.

However, Ivan Cruickshank, executive director of the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition, challenged that view, indicating that many men are often the facilitators of abortions.

"A lot of the women who end up getting abortions are under the guidance of the men who say they don't want to have anything to do with the child. As a result, women have to face that reality on their own in addition to the consequences of going on this journey by themselves. We have to be mindful of those nuances and have proper conversations on those issues, he said."

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com