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'Abortion Comments To Un Read Out Of Context'

Social Services Minister Frankie Campbell.

Social Services Minister Frankie Campbell.

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

SOCIAL Services Minister Frankie Campbell suggested yesterday that the position on abortion by a senior health official before a United Nations committee last week was taken out of context.

Mr Campbell stressed the comments by Sherry Armbrister, senior nursing officer in the Ministry of Health, only inferred the looming Patient’s Bill of Rights could pave the way for discussion on abortion.

Outside of Cabinet he defended the performance of his delegation at the 71st Session of the Committee in Geneva on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

“I Imagine if you would take it into context,” he told reporters, “because everything is in context. In the context in the way the question was framed, the response was, that there is a group addressing a possible legislation as it relates to the Patient’s Bill of Rights. And then the comment went on further to say this could pave the way to addressing abortion.”

Mr Campbell said: “…So take it into context. It wasn’t saying that we have a law pertaining to abortions, the Patient’s Bill of Rights could pave the way to a discussion.”

Addressing the international forum in Geneva, Switzerland last Thursday, Ms Armbrister revealed the government was working on a Patient’s Bill of Rights that would address the right of women in the Bahamas to have abortions.

Ms Armbrister implied that a substantial bill of rights was being fine-tuned and could head to Parliament, with a view to pave the way for, among other things, a youth emancipation framework and the right for women to have abortions.

“Currently we are working on a patient’s bill of rights, which has to go to Parliament, and once that is passed or when it is passed, it will pave the way for us to deal with the emancipated youth as well as the right for a woman to have [an] abortion,” Ms Armbrister told the UN committee.

The UN committee had asked the Bahamian delegation, which was led by Mr Campbell, to clarify the measures being taken to broaden the condition under which abortions can legally be made available in the country - mainly in instances of rape, incest, severe foetal impairments and risk to the health of a pregnant woman.

The statement was quickly walked back by both Attorney General Carl Bethel and Health Minister Dr Duane Sands over the weekend, both insisting that there were no plans to review the legal status of abortions on the government's working agenda.

Dr Sands reiterated on Monday while a national discussion on abortion may need to happen, it is not on the government's legislative agenda right now.

Yesterday, Mr Campbell said: “Remember us being on this journey. So on a journey, every time you take one step, you are able to see another step that you need to take. So in the context the Patient’s Bill of Rights could pave for that discussion.

“And whether we believe it or not, there are some hard discussions that we are going to have to have as a nation. Whether or not the government agrees to it legislatively is another issue.”

He added: “But we need to know that there are some discussions that we are going to have to have and abortion seems to be one of those discussions.”

Comments

Socrates 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Campbell needs to watch more Fox. Trump would have replied that he never said it, no matter how many witnesses or what you record on tape.. get smart brothers..

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Sickened 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Some women actually need mandatory abortions. It should be mandatory for inmates, prostitutes, drug addicts and mothers who have previously had a child handed over to child services for neglect.

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bogart 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Wemmen dont make chillren all by deyselves.......regretably whether raped...conned by sugga on dere tongues serial sweethearts....the wemmen dem should not have to go through these pregnamcies.....raise chillren all by deyselves.....while the no good wutless scheming. ..serial sweethearter....low life scum...bottom dwelling scum...filthy jonsing scumn...leave he offspring.....to grow up ...suffering...many cases wreaking havoc on society.....dese no good men should be charged and hav dere pee pee chap off...stead of just wiping heself off ....an finding da next victim male or female....an continue on ...

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TheMadHatter 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Just another story to divert attention away from the missing VAT money.

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Islangal1 7 months, 4 weeks ago

So when did abortion became illegal in the Bahamas when doctors are performing them every day? When did PMH stop doing D & C on young girls and women?

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TalRussell 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Comrade Frankie is just another one the 35 crown colleagues sitting up in Imperial red guard that does needs start acting more likes grown up and accept accountability what leaps out he mouth or what statements are issued undue his name and direction....... Don't knows how Frankie can expects learn anything bouts governing by constantly throwing out lessons by constantly blaming others.

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