Many Catholic countries have liberal abortion laws
Stabroek News
January 4, 2002

Dear Editor,

I note the readiness with which Messrs John de Freitas and Andrew Yarde rise to defend Fr. Hardless' representation of the Catholic Church's teaching on abortion (SN 12 22).

It should not escape notice that they are both male. As Ms Baldeo has pointed out, the so called Catholic position on abortion is a totally male perspective (SN 12 27).

While Catholic men hold this view, more than 5,000 Catholic women journey from Ireland to England every year for abortions.

Italy, the home of the Vatican, has had a liberal abortion law for nearly 40 years. The use of contraceptives by Catholic women in Italy is so extensive that Catholic Italy now has the lowest birth rate in the world.

In the United States, among women who have abortions, each year the proportion of Catholics is greater than their proportion in the population. This disproportion should not surprise us: the male Catholic opposition to modern contraceptive methods leaves more Catholic women at risk of unwanted pregnancy and therefore in greater need of abortions.

In other words, while male Catholics speak, female Catholics act.

Except for Ireland, every developed Catholic country has a liberal abortion law and as a result, maternal death from unsafe abortion is unknown in them. Sadly, a large proportion of our maternal deaths are the result of back street abortions.

It is clear that in developed Catholic countries, the state has managed to distinguish between theology and public policy. It is also clear that policy makers and health personnel know the difference between the needs of Catholic women and the statements of Catholic men.

In the interest of women's health, Minister Ramsammy must find the courage to implement the law that his Catholic colleague, Minister Teixeira, successfully fought to get on our books.

Yours faithfully,

Earlene Jardine