November 14, 2022
by Angelina Gibbs
In a shocking neocolonialist move, the Canadian government has given Jamaica CDN 9.8 million dollars, the equivalent amount of 1.12 billion Jamaican dollars, in order to fight against gender-based violence and advance sexual and reproductive rights.
Canada’s move happened despite abortion being illegal in Jamaica and two-thirds of Jamaicans opposing the legalization of abortion, according to the RJR Gleaner Don Anderson poll for August 2022.
Canada launched two initiatives, focusing on two regions in Jamaica: WE TALK, aimed at reducing gender-based violence, and SAIL which stands for “Strengthening Access Inclusion and Leadership” for “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.”
SAIL-SRHR supports access to reproductive rights and is set to target adolescent girls and members of vulnerable locations such as sex workers, the LBTQ community, parents, community leaders, and healthcare workers. SAIL will be implemented by Caribbean Vulnerable Coalition (CVC) and the Jamaica Family Planning Association (JFPA) who will be collaborating together.
As reported by The Gleaner, Harit Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of International Development, pointed to “barriers [that] prevent women and girls from realizing their full human rights.” She added, “Together, they will help to accelerate the end of gender-based violence and advance sexual reproductive human rights in Jamaica.” Sajjan believes that these programs are important for “empowering” vulnerable women.
Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, the state minister in Jamaica’s Ministry of Health and Wellness, praised Canada’s support stating, “Sexual and reproductive health is a main focus area of the government, and the ministry is committed to universal access to SRHR, including family planning information and introduction of reproductive health into national programs.”
In 2019, prior to her appointment as state minister, Cuthbert-Flynn had launched a private member’s motion to remove Jamaica’s law against abortion, which fell flat in the face of the will of Jamaican citizens seen in various polls.
“We are concerned that our government has accepted billions of dollars from foreigners who wish to advance their ideas concerning sex, gender, and the value of human life from conception to natural death, which are antithetical to the opinions of Jamaicans and are at odds with our culture and values,” noted Dr. Daniel Thomas, President of the Love March Movement, a pro-life NGO in Jamaica. “[In] Canada they have the killing of the unborn through all months of fetal life and it’s taxpayer funded! Between 2007 and 2020 the Canadian Institute for Health Information reported 1,326,408 abortions, nearly half of Jamaica’s population. This is an effort to make us into their own corrupt image, that which the citizens of Jamaica clearly disagree with as seen in the recent Don Anderson Polls on abortion and the buggery law.”