Mario Moxey, senior pastor of Bahamas Harvest Church. (File photo)
By LYNAIRE MUNNINGS
Tribune Staff Reporter
AFTER an 11-year-old girl allegedly impregnated by her mother’s boyfriend aborted the baby with pills procured by her mother, two prominent religious leaders said yesterday that many churchgoers still oppose abortion in such circumstances.
National Security Minister Wayne Munroe told The Tribune he expects police to investigate the alleged statutory rape of the 11-year-old girl and the abortion she received, which he said was illegal.
Asked if the case shows why abortion should be legal in some cases, he noted the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) did not commit to changing abortion laws in its pre-election manifesto, the Blueprint for Change.
The episode was a reminder of both the vulnerability of children in a country facing rising sexual assault cases and that abortion is illegal in The Bahamas in all instances except to save the woman’s life.
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Alicia Wallace, director of Equality Bahamas, said given the degree of gender-based violence in The Bahamas, it is “ridiculous and inhumane to expect women or children to suffer through unwanted pregnancies”.
“There is absolutely no reason to criminalise a child or the people who helped her to access critical healthcare that likely saved her life, preventing further physical and mental harm,” she said on Wednesday.
“Survivors ought not suffer additional trauma caused by the action or inaction of the government that fails to prevent violence against them.”
Nonetheless, Mario Moxey, senior pastor of Bahamas Harvest Church, believes the church would oppose legislation to change the status quo on abortion, even in cases of rape.
“We believe in the sanctity of life, and it’s important that we protect the life even in situations where there is rape,” he said. “There is a provision in the law to protect the mother in the event that the pregnancy may endanger a life. When it comes to an abortion for the sake of abortion, absolutely no. We believe in the sanctity of life. God ordains the seed before it is born, every seed is ordained by God and we want to make sure that we protect the righteous seed in the womb.”
“We got to uphold the laws, not try to amend our laws to accommodate these types of violations.”
Reverend Dr Phillip McPhee, the recently appointed leader of the Bahamas Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention (BBMEC), supported his view.
“If you want me to give you my personal view, I don’t think we should take the life of a child,” he said. “Abortion is no unless it is a life or death situation.”