Antigua Government defers decision on abortion law to courts


LOOP-Debates about the constitutionality of Antigua and Barbuda’s archaic abortion law are gaining traction.

On Thursday, the government of Antigua and Barbuda addressed the matter, stating that it will defer to the courts to decide the future of the nation’s anti-abortion laws.

Earlier this week, campaigners, including local doctors, filed a constitutional lawsuit against legislation that prohibits abortion except when a woman’s life is at risk.

The campaigners are advocating for new laws that uphold a woman’s right to choose.

Cabinet spokesman Lionel Hurst informed the media that the government will await the judicial proceedings’ outcome.

“Since this matter is before the judiciary, the executive will not comment on it. But we’re leaving it to the people of Antigua and Babila, and the churches especially in Antigua and Barbuda, for them to determine what is reasonable and what is not. And the people of Antigua and Babila will be so guided.

“But at the moment, the law remains as is, until and unless there is an order coming from the higher courts that will compel us,” he said

Hurst emphasized that the court’s decision will guide the government’s next steps.

“We’re listening to everyone, because they utilize the public media and also other kinds of spaces, social media and so on. So, everybody has something to contribute, and the outcome is really going to lie with the courts. And we will act.

“That is, the executive will act on the basis of what the court orders, and the legislature will very likely follow the same route,” he asserted.

The court will hear the case in September.

Currently under the Offences of the Person Act, a woman who ends a pregnancy faces 10 years behind bars. Anyone who helps her faces two years in prison. The only exception by law is where the woman’s life is at risk.

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  1. Abortion should be illigal unless its threaten a pregnant woman life such as baby in the wrong tube because we all know a baby can’t survive there but over all why should a woman take a baby life jus because she wasn’t ready to have kids what makes it ok for u to jus killed a baby like that a gunman being it doesn’t make it ok!!!! jus few month ago I see on news where someone found a baby fetus up at cooks dumb an it hurt me bad abortion must be banned

  2. This is a decision for the people, meaning, legislation, that derived from the public. Not judge made laws. That response was a lazy one.

  3. When someone has a child and cannot afford to take care of it who suffers? Who would step forward to assist?

  4. Abortion is murder, we don’t go by Babylon laws, we pledge allegiance to Creator God only.
    God’s word tells us in Psalms 139:13-16

    13 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
    15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
    16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

    Proverbs 6:16-19 ~ There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood…….

  5. You all sound so ignorant. The amount of “rape” that happens in this country and you still feel the woman’s safety is the only reason she can get an abortion. Ok then force her to keep the baby she doesn’t want now feed this child, cloth them etc. yeah ok. What more abuse you think that child will suffer growing up? What about all the grown man who pry on young girls what about those babies? Maybe we need to focus on proper education and protection for these people and not focused on sending ppl to jail for nonsense.

  6. It amazes me that non of you ask about the father…….. A man or young man should sign paperwork giving consent to have his child / ren…. Too many men on child support for children that isn’t theirs.

    Young girls & women need to be financially / mentally/emotionally sound before motherhood …. Be financially INDEPENDENT so if and when a pregnancy occurs she can ask herself and answer herself CAN I AFFORD A CHILD BASICS NEEDS?

    Abortion Doctors need to be held accountable responsible for performing more than 2 abortion on one female and no abortion beyond 15 weeks.

    Too many of these young girls in the Caribbean having children and no financial means to take care of it / them.. burdening their self and mothers gma’s and there’s no father in picture…… dnt ask who suppose to help me ask yourself can YOU take care of your child……WHO REALLY SUFFERS HERE

    I’m not for abortions bcos it basically thins out your uterine walls …. However abortion done before 6~8 weeks is ok to me……

    PLENTY young women use abortion as birth control every other mnth is an abortion OH NO!!!!

    I think if you want to have a child YOU should prove you can provide the basic needs it should be law.

    What about incest are we gonna pretend that in today’s Antigua fathers uncles brothers are not sexing their female family members…….oh we gonna pretend it’s not happening?

  7. 1. 100% agree. Ignorant thoughtless comments.

    2. 100% agree. Those that contributed to the pregnancy (i.e. men!) are being forgotten. Last time I checked it doesn’t happen on its own…

    3. 100% agree. Eduction and protection from those involved is where the time and energy needs to be spent.

    4. The ignorant comments made demonstrate you have absolutely no regard for women. None.

    4. This article was NOT an invitation for your opinion. Perhaps “ok” if it’s constructive, well thought out & appropriately stated.

    5. No uterus. No opinion.

  8. We all know what’s going to happen now.
    The courts will sadly change the law. The government will not have to answer to the people who disagree because “it wasn’t their fault”. They also won’t anger the rich countries in the west who are are pushing for this. So, the government has sidestepped the issue.

  9. Once upon a time (some) white people said religion was great and human life was sacred (most laws are based on that concept). So, black people became the most religious so religious in fact that slave owners could no longer justify their mistreatment of blacks and had to set them free. These days white people say religion is unimportant and sacrificing vulnerable lives is acceptable. So, black people now champion that cause for them even sacrificing their own children having the highest abortion rates in the U.S… Some people accuse Christians of following the “white man’s religion” (It’s not really the white man’s religion btw). Meanwhile they are busy worshipping the white man himself. If he says jump they say how high? Disclaimer: I love all races equally, but it’s amazing the things that many black people will do to try to keep up with white people. Of course, I know that black people don’t really worship white people, just the white man’s money. So, they will often support anything the supposed rich countries want. The love of money really is the root of all evil.

  10. The problem with the world today is that people have stopped seeking the truth. They no longer pay attention to solid evidence or data aka facts. Some even believe that everyone can make up their own truth. So, “social scientists” make up all kinds of new random morals for society. Sometimes they label them as “rights”. These new morals are based on people’s feelings not verifiable facts or solid research etc. Lawyers argue cases and judges decide cases based on these feelings now. People in the arts (writers, movie makers etc.) champion these unproven ideas all throughout the media until the masses are convinced that they must be true, based on facts right? Rape is traumatic, but there is no supporting evidence that all or the majority of women who are raped hate the baby or will mistreat it. The fact is that women produce bonding hormones that enable them to love all kinds of children. Also, human beings naturally have caring feelings towards small chubby faces such as baby animals. Women throughout history have taken care of babies born in all kinds of circumstances without falling apart. Women who choose not to can always give the child up for adoption. There is also no evidence that being born into a rich family leads to a “better” childhood or adulthood. Money alone does not make children happy. People can lose their money at any time, learning resilience and survival skills in a poorer family might actually be a better upbringing. In many rich societies, taxes pay for alot of the nice shared things that children grow up with. So, judging what one family or mother has to decide if they are allowed to have children is ridiculous. A well-functioning society shares the childcare burden together. Finally, look at how twisted the children of many rich celebrities are. Lots of them hate their lives. There is no justification for abortion outside of trying to save the mother’s life. There are other answers to rape and poverty situations.

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