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Antigua & Barbuda

Planned Parenthood group welcomes review of abortion law

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The Antigua Planned Parenthood Association (APPA) has applauded the government’s plans to re-examine the country’s existing abortion laws, following the recent US Supreme Court decision to overturn the Roe v Wade ruling.

And in light of those plans, the government has been encouraged to be bold and establish a precedent for the rest of the Caribbean to follow.

Abortion is currently illegal in the twin island nation, despite the procedure being widely available. A 19th century law cites a sentence of up to 10 years in prison for any woman “who procures her own miscarriage”.

In a media statement jointly issued with the regional branch of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF ACRO), APPA said it is pleased policymakers have heard the call of millions of women worldwide, in the wake of the ruling that revoked the constitutional rights of Americans to abortions.

It noted while the practice has been criminalised in Antigua and Barbuda for over a century, there is an acknowledgement that the law has not, and does not prevent abortions.

According to Executive Director at the APPA, Lyndale Weaver-Greenaway, what it does is restrict access to safe and timely medical care.

 “The recognition that the current legislation has caused more harm than good is certainly an encouraging first step toward the right to bodily autonomy for the women and girls in the country,” she said in a statement.

Weaver-Greenaway added that decriminalising abortion would mean improved access to often life-saving care for women.

IPPF ACRO Deputy Regional Director Dona Da Cosa Martinez also commended the government’s recognition of the need to re-examine restrictive laws that do more harm than good for its citizens.

 “Antigua and Barbuda is now at the height of making the changes necessary to ensure the protection and fulfilment of the human rights of all its citizens, to have full access to reproductive care,” she noted.

In doing so, she added, the twin island nation will be establishing a precedent for the rest of the Caribbean to follow.

“Now is the time for regional leaders to ensure free and full access to safe abortion care in all their countries,” Martinez declared.

The country’s abortion laws were set to be discussed during the most recent sitting of Parliament, and the government has previously said it intends to hold public consultations on the matter.

However, with the current environment one of ‘don’t ask/don’t tell’, there is no evidence things will change as a matter of urgency.

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Antigua & Barbuda

Children and elderly among those to benefit from new volunteer venture

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The organisation has been lending a hand to some of the nation’s vulnerable residents (Photos contributed)

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A string of local causes have benefited from a new volunteer programme operating in Antigua and Barbuda.

SkyTigerCares was formed from outsourcing and offshoring consulting firm SkyTiger, based at Canada Place, St John’s.

A food drive for the Fiennes Institute, supported by SkyTiger staff, secured $1,500 worth of food and personal care items. In addition to the care packages, $5,000 was also donated to the Master of Fiennes, Walton Edwards.

In July, the philanthropic organisation supported the West Indies Sail Heritage Foundation by donating $5,000 to the tall ship race event in the Netherlands.

“In addition to financial assistance, our very own employee and aspiring sailor J-maiah Louisor was able to participate in the event,” a release from SkyTiger said. “In his words, it was a dream come true and he felt privileged and honoured to be selected for this once-in-a-lifetime event.”

The organisation also helped local schoolchildren last summer by issuing 105 gift certificates to staff members with children between the ages of three and 17.

The volunteer programme focuses on four pillars of corporate social responsibility – environmental, ethical, philanthropic, and economic.

“We embrace diversity, inclusion, social awareness, volunteering, education, eco-friendly practices, and acts of service,” the release added.

“At SkyTiger, one of our top priorities is to be a good corporate citizen. We want to create an environment that recognises the importance of giving back.”

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Antigua & Barbuda

Messi scores, Argentina beats Australia 2-1 at World Cup

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Antigua & Barbuda

Haitian police are fed up!!

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A high-ranking police officer says gangs in Haiti are making their lives very difficult and they are challenged in executing their functions.

Over the past few months, Haitian gangsters have seized at least three police vehicles, which includes two armored ones, in a wave of gang violence that has left several law enforcement officers dead.

A police source, told HCNN that an armored vehicle and several police weapons were hijacked and are still in the hands of the criminals who are still using them to fight rival gangs.

“As a police commissioner, I feel embarrassed and guilty, because I am among those who are supposed to make sure that gang violence is quelled and that security is guaranteed,” he said

He says there have been numerous times he considered resigning but has been advised against it.

One gang leader, a former policeman known as Crisla, has claimed responsibility for the seizure of the vehicles.

A spokesman for the Haitian National Police Union, Lionel Lazare, said at least 50 policemen have been shot dead, since the beginning of the year.

Police commissioner, in charge of the police academy, 50-year-old Harington Rigaud, was among the victims who were shot in the head, outside his office, on November 25.

His vehicle was also taken by the criminals.



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