Fr Hardless could have contributed significantly
Stabroek News
December 16, 2001

Dear Editor,

It is with regret that I read Fr Keith Hardless' rejection of my invitation to join the Advisory Board (SN 12.12.01).

I had hoped that with someone of his conviction on the Board, the very important views he represents would have had a forceful presence in its deliberations.

I respect his religious commitment and will not question his beliefs.

As Minister of Health, my portfolio leaves me no option but to seek to reduce the harm of unsafe abortion. This means that I must take action to implement the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. I believe that the Act can radically improve maternal health. I would be less than responsible if I ignored my duty to explore this opportunity.

Fr Hardless could have contributed significantly to the inquiry and dialogue on our Board. Our Board will be the weaker for the choice he has made. My wish for engagement has suffered a sad loss.

I will, however, continue to seek the involvement of other religious leaders and I invite anyone who is willing to join the Board to inform me accordingly. I will also attempt to engage Fr Hardless in private discussions so that I can benefit from his considerable experience in this field. Yours faithfully,

Dr Leslie Ramsammy

Minister of Health