The Prime Minister of the Caribbean island of St. Lucy, Kenny Anthony, has cancelled a debate in the country’s parliament on a plan to partially legalize abortion on the island after receiving a petition signed by over 9,000 Catholics to reject the proposal.
Last September, the Catholic population of the island, which represents about 90% of the total number of inhabitants, became deeply troubled when the government introduced a bill to legalize abortion in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother, without any significant public support for the initiative.
Public pressure forced the government to include in the bill’s final version a “cooling down” period which stipulated that women wait 48 hours after requesting an abortion in order to receive counseling.
The bill was postponed several weeks ago after a cabinet minister who was pregnant lead a Catholic protest against the measure.
In this latest attempt to pass the bill, Anthony canceled the debate alter fierce public opposition but he is threatening to bring the measure back when parliament returns from recess.