Last updated on November 25th, 2022 at 09:00 am
The first ever pro-life high school and university groups in the Caribbean launched this fall in Jamaica. The groups were formed in response to the rising pressure to legalize abortion the country.
Started at the prestigious University of the West Indies, Jamaica Theological Seminary, and Belmont Academy, the Students for Life clubs are organizing events to educate their campus and support women in pregnancy crisis. In spring 2021, two local NGOs partnered to launch the Students for Life groups: the Love March Movement and Chosen to Glow.
Students in several other high schools also submitted requests to their administration to start pro-life clubs. However, their administration refused, citing the existence of other Christian clubs as the reason for their denial. The students are currently in the process of appealing these denials.
Despite the fact that abortion is not legal in Jamaica, one out of three pregnancies end in abortion, according to Planned Parenthood’s research arm, the Guttmacher Institute.
However, local pro-life leaders uphold that these number may be inflated.
“From what we see on the ground, abortion is not as common as the Guttmacher Institute claims,” reported Dr. Daniel Thomas, president of the Love March Movement. “Since this organization advocates for the legalization of abortion in Jamaica, they have a vested interest in projecting that abortion is commonplace.”
However, Dr. Thomas recognizes that abortion is prevalent and that much work must be done to support those facing a crisis pregnancy:
“Support services for women in crisis pregnancies are few and far between. This fuels the demand for abortion as many women with crisis pregnancies feel they have no support and no option other than abortion. It is our desire to build a nationwide system of support that will make it easier for women to choose life, rather than abortion. It’s a big dream, but we know the Lord is with us.”
Because of this, the new Students for Life clubs will be fundraising to support moms in pregnancy crisis across the Island.
The first woman they are fundraising for is co-named Ana. Assaulted and falling pregnant by her father, her family kicked her out. After going from one shelter to another for months, Ana eventually made contact with the Love March Movement. They facilitated her reception at Jamaica’s only pregnancy resource center in Montego Bay, just three days before she delivered her baby.
The Students for Life leaders are working alongside pro-life and religious leaders to create a support system for Ana and other women like her facing difficult circumstances.