By Skyler Lee
“No uterus, no opinion?” Try telling that to Jamaicans! According to an island-wide poll conducted on April 27th by the Ministry of Health, there is overwhelming support for men’s equal rights regarding abortion.
The poll consisting of 1,000 Jamaicans ages 15 to 49, revealed 8 out of 10 citizens support a husband having a legal say as to whether his wife has an abortion — 84 percent of men and 76 percent of women.
When similar questions were asked replacing the term “husband” with a man living with the woman, a man not living with the woman, and a man no longer in a relationship with the woman, the majority still supported legal rights for the father regarding abortion.
If a woman lives with her baby’s father but they are not married, 74 percent of those polled say the man should legally have a say in regards to abortion, with 80 percent of men and 69 percent of women agreeing. Additionally, 71 percent overall, including 78 percent of men and 64 percent of women, support men’s legal rights in a situation where the woman is in a relationship with the father but is not living with him. Even in cases where the parents are no longer in a relationship, 62 percent said men should have a say, including 68 percent of men and 57 percent of women.
Currently, the World Health Organization estimates over 22,000 abortions are performed every year in Jamaica. While spousal consent is mandatory under Jamaica’s abortion laws, the wishes of men who are not married to the mother of their preborn child are not protected. Hopefully this new poll gives everyone something to think about. After all, men should have the chance to stand up for the lives of their children.