Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Wednesday, April 02, 2003  

Last evening I watched the second epside of TV6's new current affairs programme, Chatroom, hosted by lawyer/actress/all-round uber-woman Maxine Williams.

This week's discussion was on that hot potato, abortion. The guests were a Roman Catholic priest and a member of ASPIRE, an NGO that advocates, among other things, the decriminalisation of abortion in T&T. Both parties had fair arguments (up to a point), and Williams asked searching and pointed questions of both sides, though I got the impression that she herself is pro-choice. (Having seen her star in the Vagina Monologues, it was hard not get that impression.)

While both parties were able to agree that something needs to be done to halt the thousands of unsafe backstreet abortions that take place in this country every year, no one made mention of one glaring fact: that for the women who can afford it, abortion in essence is legal in T&T. It is patently unfair that this double-standard should be allowed to exist. If one set of women can access safe abortions in comfort and anonymity, then all women should have that right.

Anyway, if last evening was any indication, Chatroom could go on to be a solid forum for intelligent debate in this country. Goodness knows we need it. Couple of suggestions: (1) a parallel online discussion and (2) Maxine, I don't know you, but it's quite clear you have a naturally bubbly personality. Nothing wrong with that, but you might want to think of toning it down just a tad. More Jeremy Paxman, a little less Oprah. You don't want the politicians - and they will come - thinking they can walk all over you, like they walk all over Errol Pilgrim and Sunil Ramdeen.

posted by Jonathan | 3:46 PM 0 comments


save boissiere house
Bina Shah
Nicholas Laughlin
Caribbean Free Radio
Global Voices
Jessie Girl
Club Soda and Salt
Caribbean Cricket
Jai Arjun Singh
email me