As debate reigns about decriminalising abortion, one dancehall artiste is addressing the importance of the female's voice. Beenie Man, King of the dancehall, told The STAR that women need to tell their story so both genders can understand the reasons for wanting an abortion.
"This is a conversation that I think the women must lead, especially in Jamaica, not the men. Too many women out there have babies for men who 'bun' abortion and are still not taking care of their children," said Beenie Man.
He added: "I am not saying one person must have more rights than the other, but there is too much that we don't know from rape to abuse, all kind of things need fi talk 'bout. It is not a simple matter to discuss, but we need to talk about it In-depth as a country."
Just last week, Parliamentarian Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn moved a motion for the Government to decriminalise abortion, and provide women with safe and affordable methods to terminate pregnancy.
In the earlier years of his career, the dancehall deejay released Don't Take Abortion, featured on his Black Liberty album. It speaks about a woman, despite knowing that her man really wants a child, still has an abortion without him knowing.
Other 90s singles like Murder She Wrote by Chaka Demus and Pliers, Mad Cobra's No Abortion, and Yellowman's Abortion also highlight the topic. But, according to Beenie Man, though not irrelevant to this millennium, "It is just men giving their opinions".
Emotional and painful
He said: "Everybody has an opinion and music is just one way that we share it."
Meanwhile, as Anthony Moses Davis, "the father", Beenie Man says: He is caught between a rock and a hard place.
"As a Rastaman, my beliefs will not be everybody's belief, but I advise against it. My view is that once the child can survive outside of the womb, without the mother, it is a person and should not be killed. If the law should change and give the woman the right to decide, then it should have that restriction," he said. "I wouldn't want any woman to make that decision without my input; it is emotional and painful for a man who is ready to be a father to go through."
He also said that as a father, he would not be in a position to tell his own children what to do. "The law doesn't give me any rights over anybody's womb, not even my own children," he said.