WROC Supports Health Minister’s Call for Abortion Debate

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The Women’s Resource and Outreach Centre, WROC, is supporting Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton’s call for a national discussion on abortion in Jamaica.

Dr. Tufton made the call this week.

In a statement today, the Women’s Resource and Outreach Centre says its public support for a national discussion on abortion follows news of a shocking number of women turning up at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH) seeking emergency treatment.

This while either admitting they’d attempted abortions or displaying symptoms to suggest that they had.

WROC’s Executive Director, Nikeisha Sewell Lewis, says the outreach centre supports a call for a wider, national discussion on the issue of maternal health as well as the rights of women and their unborn children.

The outreach center says it notes news reports which have indicated that between January and September of this year, of the over 1,000 expectant mothers who visited the Victoria Jubilee Hospital with bleeding in early pregnancy, 91 admitted to having attempted to abort the foetus.

The center says it also notes reports that an additional 47 women had complications that suggested they had attempted an abortion.

Mrs. Sewell Lewis is insisting that Jamaica needs to stop relegating the issue of abortion to the back room.

She says the disclosure in the Gleaner newspaper on the weekend represents a national crisis and is a call to action for all stakeholders.

The outreach centre says it notes that Dr. Tufton has since ordered an abortion audit to include assessing current family planning methods, public education, counselling, contraception, fostering, and adoption.

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Abka Fitz-Henley is a multiple award-winning journalist who is currently the Senior Reporter at Nationwide News Network (NNN). His primary areas of focus are Court, Crime and Parliamentary proceedings. Fitz-Henley was recently recognized in the regional celebrity magazine publication Panache as “The Breaking News Boss”. At 21 years of age, following his 1st year in media, Fitz-Henley was recognized with the Young Journalist of the year award from The Press Association of Jamaica and went on to cop one of the country’s highest recognized journalism prizes, the Journalist of the Year Award. He’s also been awarded the prestigious Corporate Jamaica Broilers Fairplay 1st place Award for investigative journalism and is the recipient of the Caribbean Blog Award for coverage of the infamous Kartel murder trial. Fitz-Henley is also the recipient of the PM Youth Award for Excellence. Over the years, he has appeared as a guest on the BBC World Service and BBC London.