Today’s Editorial: Legalized abortion

POSTED: 04/17/11 9:36 PM

Abortion will become legal in the BES-islands, and now there is a push to engage in a discussion to legalize the practice in Curacao as well. It’s only a matter of time before the topic becomes an issue in St. Maarten.

Abortion is a sensitive issue with two major components: a moral one and a medical one. Now that research by a general practitioner in Curacao has established that quite some women on that island end up in hospital after an abortion, it makes sense to look at all aspects from a fresh perspective. There is no reason to assume that the situation in St. Maarten will be different from the one in Curacao, so we may as well jump on the bandwagon and give ourselves a head start.

First of all, we do not need the Dutch to tell us what to do, because St. Maarten is an autonomous country. But it would be rather idiotic to ignore the vast experience the Netherlands has in this field and not to use available expertise and information.

Quite some readers will probably wonder why it is necessary to have this discussion, given the fact that there is no majority support for legalization. But ignoring the issue would be missing opportunities to get all the facts on the table and to engage in a broad public discussion.

This is not something to be settled overnight – it did not happen that way in the Netherlands either. But the times they are a’changin’ and with those changing times comes a need for fresh perspectives on this issue.

The situation in Curacao makes clear that – illegal or not – abortions do take place and that women threaten to become unnecessary victims. That is something to think about for our Minister of Public Health Cornelius de Weever.

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