Following Argentina’s landmark ruling last week to legalise abortion, Member of Parliament Juliet Cuthbert Flynn is hoping the controversial issue can be placed back on the parliamentary agenda and a conscience vote be pursued to amend the existing laws in Jamaica.
In what is being hailed as a victory for women, Argentina’s Congress legalised abortions up to the 14th week of pregnancy last week Wednesday, as 38 senators voted in favour of the bill following a marathon session, which saw 29 voting against and one abstention.
Despite protest from the highly influential Catholic Church and a growing evangelical community, Argentina’s grassroots women movement was successful in their advocacy to overturn a law that had been in place since 1921. Prior to last week’s historic decision, abortions were only permitted in cases of rape or when the mother’s health was at risk.
The passing of the landmark ruling in one of the largest countries in Latin America has ignited the hope of pro-choice activists that despite the long history of opposition by the church, there could be a ripple effect in other conservative countries in the region.