ARCHBISHOP Kenneth Richards believes it is unfortunate that there is need to convince some lawmakers to defend the beginning of human life. He said it is “incontestable” that all human life begins at the time of conception and takes form during the time of gestation in a mother’s womb.
Therefore, he said, it is disingenuous to use terms and descriptions which avoid the acknowledgement that a human life is being targeted to rationalise a right to terminate pregnancy.
The Archbishop of Kingston shared this view in a Facebook post titled ‘The privilege of the life we have, safeguard for the unborn’, February 15.
His comments were in response to the national debate on the issue of decriminalising abortion. A Reuters.com article ‘Devout Jamaica debates green light for abortion after rape, incest’ reported that a bill by parliamentarian Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, of the majority Jamaica Labour Party, aims to decriminalise abortion by repealing sections of the law and replacing it with a new act which allows abortions in the case of rape or incest.
The article said Parliament was due to hear final submissions from the public, then the Prime Minister’s office will decide next steps.
Archbishop Richards said those seeking to terminate a pregnancy at whatever stage of gestation in the womb owed their own existence to the same process. “For all of us are sprung from the same origin and developed along the continuum when human life is most vulnerable.”
He said “thanks be to God” for the circumstances which prevented the termination of the pregnancy of the debaters. “For truth be told, many of us were not conceived in the ideal circumstance that we consciously or unconsciously presume for ourselves while debating the right to terminate human life in the womb. The principle ‘one good turn deserves another’, obliges us to safeguard the good fortune of our transition from conception to birth,” he said.
The Archbishop believed that to argue that only a human person in potential exists at the early stage of conception is a diversion. The intention of abortion is to eliminate that which is developing as a human person; not to eliminate what may not become a human person.
He maintained that instead of positing reasons for eliminating vulnerable human life during gestation, why not learn from experience and promote solutions when irresponsible sexual act initiates new life.
“In the general scheme of the issue at hand, arguments referring to exceptionally difficult pregnancies are in the minority for procuring abortion, to legislate a general rule where behaviour change can limit the crisis,” he said.