We need strategies to make fathers liable
Stabroek News
January 3, 2002

Dear Editor,

The announcement by the Minister of Health that abortions would be available in the public health facilities will no doubt bring some joy to the proponents of a woman's right to choose whether to bear a child. One could say to the pro choice advocates that a woman makes a choice when she consensually has unprotected sex, to live with the consequences of that choice and as a result should be willing to live with those consequences. At the same time, those who are pro life could be challenged with the women who make the choice of abortion because they were raped or because their health

is in danger.

Sadly though, we have not dealt with any of the underlying circumstances which might make a woman or girl choose abortion as a means of dealing with unwanted pregnancies. Many women might make the choice because they do not see any support from the father, and the men who are pro life have to come up with strategies to ensure that men who impregnate women also bear some of that responsibility. Many women are probably ignorant of family planning options and one hopes that in the new year family planning resources are as easily available from the public health system as abortions. One hears too in other countries of women who abort female foetuses, or foetuses which are disabled. One hopes that no woman in Guyana ever aborts her baby because of its gender or perceived abilities.

Whether we like it or not, abortions have happened regardless of the legality of it. One of your writers said that men will never die from botched abortions, that is true, and men too will not become pregnant from being raped. So it leaves the men who cannot stand the thought of the human flesh which is scraped out of women; of the viable babies left to die; to start to think of ways in which we recreate this society so that no woman has to make a choice of abortion for dealing with an unwanted pregnancy.

Yours faithfully,

Vidyaratha Kissoon