Panton inclines towards access to legal abortion

| 04/08/2022 | 240 Comments

(CNS): The lack of legal access to abortion in the Cayman Islands is currently under review by the Law Reform Commission as part of its work modernising the Penal Code. However, Premier Wayne Paton has made his first public declaration of his inclination to support at least limited access. Indicating that he understood the position of pro-lifers and the challenges around the issue, he nevertheless said he believes in women’s rights to have control over their own bodies and said it was a conversation Cayman needed to have.

The Penal Code bans abortion in all circumstances except where it saves the mother’s life. Terminations, even by abortion pills, are illegal even in cases of incest, rape or where there are complications with the foetus. But Panton said that, at the very least, the law should provide access to legal abortion in such circumstances here in the Cayman Islands, as he noted the many young victims of incest abuse.

Appearing on Cayman Marl Road’s “Premier Access” on Wednesday evening, Panton said, “I personally have strong feelings about supporting women’s rights.” While acknowledging that abortion was a difficult decision for anyone to make, he said that young girls who are impregnated as a result of rape or incest should have that right.

Panton said that historically women could travel to the United States for abortions, but changes to the law there could impact that access. Meanwhile, the LRC has been looking into the question of whether safe legal abortion should be provided here. The premier said there is a legitimate expectation that women should have control over their own bodies and there is a need to discuss the issue in the Cayman Islands.

After CNS posted an article about the LRC’s public consultation at the beginning of this year, there were well over 100 comments that reflected a relatively even split on this contentious issue.

However, very little research has been done in Cayman on public opinion on this topic. The LRC consultation is now over and traditionally such consultations have very poor response rates, usually no more than a few dozen. The formal submissions mostly come from experts in specific topics or stakeholders and campaigners with strong views on either side of the debates and rarely from members of the broader population, which would offer a more realistic reflection of public opinion.

In the discussion paper, the LRC did not suggest specific parameters for new legislation but posed a number of questions for consideration and explained that the law criminalises women seeking abortions as well as the doctors and health professionals who help them. The LRC noted that this conflicts with the Cayman Islands Bill of Rights, as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, both of which are extended to the Cayman Islands.

Their research found that no one in Cayman has ever been prosecuted for procuring or providing an abortion. In 2013 the health ministry conducted an adolescent health and sexuality survey and this decade-old data, which is the only official statistics on the subject, revealed that over 9% of 15- and 16-year-olds admitted to having had an abortion.

There are few pollsters working in this jurisdiction who are in a position to undertake an accurate poll on a subject like abortion, which is emerging on the political agenda now for the first time in the country’s history. And so far there has been no campaign for a referendum to put the question to voters.

In the United States, while there is vocal support for complete abortion bans from right-wing conservatives, the most recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that 61% of adults in the US say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. On 24 June the US Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade, a landmark ruling that the court had upheld for 50 years which found that the Constitution of the United States conferred the right to have an abortion

The decision returned the decision of the legality of abortions to each state, and trigger laws and legacy laws in some states immediately came into effect, severely curtailing or outright banning abortion. Legislators in some states are proposing even more draconian laws. For example, in Texas, Idaho, Tennessee, Ohio and Oklahoma, anti-abortion legislation gives rapists and their families the right to sue abortion providers.

In a referendum in Kansas on Tuesday, voters in the very Republican state voted ‘no’ by a margin of 59% to 41% to a proposed amendment to the Kansas constitution that would have removed the right to an abortion in that state.

See the law regarding abortion and the LRC discussion paper in the CNS Library

The poll below provides a snapshot of CNS readers’ opinions and is not a scientific survey.

499
Abortion Rights

Should abortion be legal in the Cayman Islands?


Share your vote!


How do you feel after reading this?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , ,

Category: Health, Laws, Medical Health, Politics

Comments (240)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s fact, do your research.
    Those
    1. children born to children
    2. children genetically messed up because of incest
    3. children who are unwanted,
    4. whose parents cannot afford to raise them,
    5. whose parents are emotionally absent,
    6. physically absent,
    7. born to victims of rape/SA/incest – trauma victims,
    8. whose fathers are mostly absent.
    9. whose parent(s) are addicted to substances

    If THOSE pregnancies are terminated – regardless of race – crime rate goes down. It’s not rocket science.

    37
    14
    • An Irresponsible Culture Death Mentality says:

      Wow. So death is the solution for mankind’s sinful nature, broken homes, and crime, which we all are sinners. We all have in our natures the tendency to be selfish and unloving. So we must start killing people to rid the world from sin?! The elites get to choose their own kind to easily control the world. Is that your solution??? Wow. And so meanwhile the killers become more sinful than those killed. We are living in dark times if that’s how you see.

      11
      8
  2. Anonymous says:

    It is so obvious that PACT is just a WEF-controlled entity, remove everyone of them out of office and vote into power people that will not support the evil that is controlling so many governments around the world.

    15
    22
  3. Anonymous says:

    “ After CNS posted an article about the LRC’s public consultation at the beginning of this year, there were well over 100 comments that reflected a relatively even split on this contentious issue.”

    Public opinion does not matter. If a woman has no desire to carry a pregnancy to term, that is nobody’s business but her own. Legal and safe access should be available.

    45
    18
    • Anonymous says:

      If the mother gets into financial trouble, or one of them get into a really bad accident mameing them, can she kill her children if they are still dependent on her?

      6
      15
      • Anonymous says:

        Judging from the comments here, I would be afraid of how that would be answered.

        2
        2
      • Anonymous says:

        You’re erroneously equating living children with unborn fetuses.

        These are not the same. Hope this clears up your misunderstanding.

        9
        5
  4. Anonymous says:

    Is that the sound of all churches spontaneously exploding lol. Yes, Premier, it’s OK to protect our civil rights – stand tall because the preachers and priests will be lining up to fight it down.

    37
    13
  5. Anonymous says:

    Any Caymanian with a British Passport can get access to abortion in the United Kingdom. So the real question is about expanding access to those who cannot afford the trip to the UK.

    No Cayman law can charge a UK citizen Caymanian from having an abortion in thy UK.

    26
    3
    • Anonymous says:

      And all those Caymanians who never got a British passport, you mean. Which is probably the majority.

  6. Anonymous says:

    So I clicked the ‘afraid’ emoji to become 1%, it stands to reason however that I’m one in a hundred that found this frightening carrying the anomaly I clicked it after reading the comments.

    3
    3
  7. Anonymous says:

    This is not a new discussion as women and girls have had their bodies managed by someone else. With the recent over turn of Roe vs Wade in the US, this further discriminates against women.
    To allow access for all the right reasons should be supported, This includes medical and rape.
    If we want to talk about preventative measures for unwanted pregnancy, then let’s be open to discuss it freely and not be ashamed that people are actually having sex. Allow access to birth control, planned parenthood programs, condoms etc to age groups which are now exposed to such activities. Yes this also includes people under 18.
    There are many conversations to be had and support to be given to women and girls who end up in a situation which abortion is the only option.

    30
    6
  8. Anonymous says:

    The Pact Govt knows the road to Sodom and Gomorrah and they are leading us down that road!

    15
    50
  9. Anonymous says:

    Always found it shocking that abortion is such a polarizing issue in the USA, and that it’s illegal in Cayman. I just don’t understand how anyone can be against abortion and a woman choosing what she wants to do. A woman having an abortion does not impact other people so why do you all have to have a say in some one you don’t know making a decision. I’m from the uk originally and abortion just isn’t a political topic – we find it absurd and bizarre that anywhere would ever deny woman and girls the right to abort. To me it is no different to any other healthcare like an operation if you break your leg in a car accident for example.

    39
    18
    • Anonymous says:

      Does not affect other people? How about the unborn child?

      9
      26
      • Anonymous says:

        Unborn cells you mean.

        15
        9
        • Anon says:

          No. Unborn child/human being. Everyone started off the same, it’s a life terminated. Plain and simple. No one wants to accept and acknowledge truth because they would be saying they are okay with ending a life —mainly for convenience/as a birth control method. Call a spade a spade.

          5
          5
          • Anonymous says:

            A woman who has thoughts, feelings, knowledge, emotions in her own right which should ALWAYS take precedence over a stranger’s opinion on what is going on in her body.

            People who value a fetus over an already existing human are sick in the head frankly.

            You don’t want a termination? Then don’t have one. But you don’t get an opinion on what another woman does with her body.

            2
            1
  10. Anonymous says:

    How many babies did your god murder when he flooded the world?

    If you don’t like abortions then commit to promoting sex education for our young people and readily available contraception for all. Reduce unwanted pregnancies and you reduce abortions.

    42
    12
  11. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully Florida will ban abortions soon. I hope they take it to the next step and declare it for what it is: murder.

    18
    62
  12. Jason says:

    Legalize killing anyone at any age for any reason and I’ll be pro abortion. Why only living humans that haven’t been born yet. Too easy.

    9
    35
  13. Anonymous says:

    Murdering the unborn like a good Christian

    10
    43
    • John says:

      No one is being murdered because this collection of cells is just an embryo or fetus. Not a baby.

      Let’s not call your views pro-life but forced birth.

      You want to force a women to go through the stress of pregnancy to have a baby they DO NOT WANT.
      Having said that I feel that 16 weeks is a reasonable limit for unrestricted abortions

      30
      15
    • Anonymous says:

      Politician…. stick to what you were elected to serve

      6
      3
  14. CaymanStar says:

    Abortion for saving the life of the mother and PROVEN rape, or, without the woman’s consent – I AM OK WITH THAT. 🙏🏼 BUT ONLY THAT!

    18
    30
    • Rachael M. says:

      Left wing activists want abortion up to delivery. This is complete insanity. Incest, rape and life threatening complications to mother I can get behind but abortion on demand like people on the left are advocating should not be legalized. The vast majority of abortions can be prevented if people were more responsible with their bodies. Birth control works more than 95% of the time and abstinence or waiting until marriage works even better.

      29
      32
      • Anonymous says:

        Abstinence and waiting tim marriage? Are you kidding? People need to have multiple sexual partners before marriage to be sure they have found someone they think they can be with long term. That’s the whole
        Point of growing up, experimenting with people before you settle down.

        18
        16
      • Anonymous says:

        Get in the real world. Sex is fun, sec is enjoyable. Young people especially who are single should not be shamed for having one night stands, multiple sexual partners and exploring when they are single and in their late teens and 20s especially. This is all normal. As such they should have the right to abort if they accidentally get pregnant and are not yet wanting a baby.

        20
        21
      • M. Class says:

        What a stupid comment.
        It’s also one I’ve seen promoted by right wing nutcases in the US.
        If you’re just going to parrot other people’s statements at least choose some good ideas.

        5
        11
      • Anonymous says:

        So marriage is good for preventing pregnancies.

        4
        1
    • Anonymous says:

      And how do you suggest they PROVE rape within the few short weeks after conception? A court case is the only way to prove it, and the way the court system works here, the child would be in school by the time the case comes to trial.

      14
      6
      • Anonymous says:

        You can always fast track a rape case to justify an abortion. Also in matters where there is reasonable suspicion of rape. We don’t have to rely on the Courts to be our only option. And most Court cases on rape is not long and drawn out.

        2
        10
    • Anonymous says:

      ‘…PROVEN rape, or, without the woman’s consent’ ??????
      Sex without consent IS Rape you idiot!!!

      14
      4
      • Anonymous says:

        Not if its the husband

        17
        • Lord Keith says:

          Think you need to keep up to date with your law. Penal code 127 – sexual intercourse where the other person does not consent. No exceptions for marriage. The House of Lords eliminated the defence of implied consent through marriage in 1991. You are only 30 years behind the times, though I am guessing from your comment your mind is still back in the 18th Century when the idea was first promulgated.

          11

Leave a Reply to An Irresponsible Culture Death Mentality Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.