In the past month I have had occasion to take two trips to Caribbean islands, but don’t think I am enjoying exotic vacations! My trips are motivated only by HLI’s mission, which is to plant the pro-life movement in areas of the world where it is weak or non-existent and to go to abortion-threatened hot spots to help create opposition to the totalitarian agenda of baby-killing. There is never a dull moment in this line of work.
My mission destinations in the Caribbean this month were Jamaica and Cuba, and what an eye-opener I had in each place. It is hard to think of two neighboring islands and societies more radically different than these in their cultures, languages, political systems and economies, yet the points of similarity with regard to the culture of death are monolithic. They are just at different stages of cultural destruction. Let me explain.
Jamaica has never had legalized abortion on demand because it has been governed by the British Offenses Against Persons Act of 1861. This is what we might call a totally pro-life culture with strong pro-life laws so far. Cuba, in contrast, has had some form of permissive abortion law since 1936 and has progressively radicalized its abortion machine to a killing industry that wipes out three babies for every live birth. Except for China and Vietnam, it is perhaps the most extreme abortion situation in the world.
Despite the differences in culture and politics, however, there is a common denominator between the two countries; namely, Planned Parenthood. Both countries have had Planned Parenthood affiliates since the 1950s, and as is always the case, the fruits of the poison tree are evident over time.
In the case of Cuba, the machinations of Planned Parenthood were almost immediately implemented once the Communist revolution took over. In essence, it is easier to impose a totalitarian culture of death in a totalitarian system. One statistic that even the government was concerned about when I was there was the free-fall of births since 1970. That year there were 237,000 babies born in Cuba. In 2004 there were only 127,000 born. Not only that, but a survey of youth on the island showed that “having children” had dropped in a very short time from third place to seventh on their list of priorities. Like modern-day Europe, Cuba is in the process of committing collective demographic suicide.
The Jamaican government has now set up a commission to study the idea of legalizing abortion. This is not surprising since, thanks again to Planned Parenthood's sex-ed programs, they have an 80% out-of-wedlock birth rate, and they could not care less about enforcing their abortion laws. Nor is it surprising that the former head of Planned Parenthood on that island is heading up the commission to study abortion! (Talk about the rooster watching the hen house.) The 12-member team is stacked with so-called professionals who are ardent supporters of abortion. Only time will tell if the good people of Jamaica will wake up and reject the murky darkness entering their paradise or allow an elite group of extremists to impose death on their children.
Jamaica is just a few steps behind Cuba in this mess, but Planned Parenthood is the abortion queen in both of them, showing that the baby-killing business respects no culture. Please join HLI in prayer for these Caribbean cultures, but especially for our most recent efforts to forestall the legalization of abortion in Jamaica.
Fr. Tom Euteneuer is president of Human Life International.