Are sexual and reproductive health and rights under threat in the Caribbean?
Young people, men and women, boys and girls do not get the comprehensive sexuality education which they need to make informed choices about their sexuality. Child sexual abuse continues to be a major human rights violation in countries across the region. Access to safe termination of pregnancy differs from country to country. Even in countries where abortion is legal, such as Guyana, that does not translate to access to safe abortion. The main public hospital does not offer abortion services so “bottom-house” abortion clinics operate, claiming lives. We are no where close to ending discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Against this background, the Tribune 242 reported that Bahamian politician, Rodney Moncur, declared that women who use the contraceptive pill are murderers who should be hung. (On the comments section of this blog someone who identified himself as Mr. Moncur stated that this report is inaccurate and he never advocated capital punishment for women who take birth control). “Let man’s sperm ‘bust’ through those pills and the woman take seed. Woman, thou art commanded to take seed, become pregnant and renounce those evil cancerous birth control pills,” it is reported that he wrote.
Here are a few of his tweets, in all caps just as they appeared in the @RodneyMoncur twitter feed (unverified twitter account):
HOW CAN YOU PROCLAIM GOD, WHEN YOU WILL NOT GET PREGNANT? DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT IT IS IMMORAL FOR THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN TO TAKE THE PILLS?
IF YOU SAY THAT YOU LOVE THE LORD AND YOUR NOBLE HUSBAND, THEN LOVINGLY SUBMIT AND THROW AWAY THOSE UNHOLY BIRTH CONTROL PILLS. BABY TONIGHT
THE PILLS WERE INTRODUCED HERE IN 1966. AFTER THAT DATE, THE WOMEN KEPT SWEET HEARTS WITH REGULARITY! THE PILLS WORKED FOR THEM.
This misogyny requires no deconstruction. But just in case you missed his message, here’s the breakdown:
Post-1966 the pill turned Bahamian women into sluts. Women were made to have sex with men only, to submit to men and to bear children. Absolutely nothing else. If you are a woman, you should be married to a man and you should go and make a baby TONIGHT.
If you and your partner choose to use contraception, you, woman, are a murderer and you should be put to death by hanging. FYI, you cannot be a Christian and use the pill.
Do you understand why we need Caribbean feminism?
Edited to add:
Here are two reports about the twitter rant but none of them makes reference to women who use birth control as murderers:
This Tribune 242 article states: “He referred to women who use oral contraceptives as “murderers” who should be hanged, as they are touched by the devil’s evil hands.” (paragraph 6)
EDITOR”S NOTE: Earlier this week this heading of this blog post read: “Caribbean politician proposes death penalty for women who use the pill.” This heading was based on the Tribune 242 article referenced above which contained the following line: “He referred to women who use oral contraceptives as “murderers” who should be hanged, as they are touched by the devil’s evil hands.” Someone who identified himself as Rodney Moncur denied that he ever said this. I looked through his twitter feed and was unable to find any tweets which stated that women who use birth control should be hung. This post has been edited to reflect these developments.