Ayanna Webster-Roy: Let women choose their contraception

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Ayanna Webster-Roy, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister – ANGELO MARCELLE

AYANNA WEBSTER-ROY, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, on Friday urged that women be allowed a free choice of their method of contraception, citing her own experience as a woman. Also sharing her further experience as a mother, she urged the nation’s women to breastfeed their babies, citing the adage, “Breast is best.”

The minister was speaking in the House of Representatives on an opposition private motion which had accused the Government of failing in its mandate to provide adequate public healthcare.

“We introduced new hormonal implants to expand contraceptive choices.

“The issue of choice for women, especially when it comes to their sexual and reproductive health and rights, is very important.

“I remember after giving birth to my son, going for the post visits at the health centre and getting into an argument with a doctor because he wanted to dictate to me how I should choose my method of contraception. But we are seeing here where the Ministry of Health is saying it has introduced new hormonal contraceptive implants to expand contraceptive choice, giving women greater choice over how they treat with their reproductive ability and their reproductive rights. So kudos to the minister (Heath Minister Terrence Deyalsingh.)”

Webster-Roy said TT’s maternal mortality rate was 15.2 deaths per 100,000 live births, which was superior to than that of the US and United Kingdom which she cited as respectively being 23.8 deaths and 20.9 deaths per 100,000 live births. Each year an additional 80-100 babies and eight-ten mothers now survive because of innovations by the minister, ministry and public health sector.

She said new mothers have been medically helped for post-partum bleeding and post-partum depression.

Webster-Roy hailed Deyalsingh for establishing a neo natal unit in Tobago, instead of new mothers and babies having to have been airlifted to TT at a financial and emotional cost.

Mother to child transmission of HIV has been reduced to nil, she said.

Webster-Roy said the Government had formulated national policies on sexual and reproductive health, breast feeding, and intimate partner violence and sexual violence.

She used the opportunity to make a plug for breast feeding. “I would have been able to breast feed all my children. It’s good for the baby and it’s good for you.”