Categorized | National News

Hanna Martin Bashes Lightbourn

It has been nearly a week since women around the country were left in utter shock and disgust after FNM MP Richard Lightbourn stood on the floor of his party’s convention last week and suggested a possible deterrent to the country’s economic woes could be unwed single mothers getting their tubes tied.

In round two of her public scolding, PLP MP Glenys Hanna Martin harshly criticized her parliamentary colleague for helping to foster negative stereotypes.

“The references are reminiscent of toxic stereotypes, which have a tragic history for our people and his comments showed a disdainful bias against our Bahamian women.

“More particularly working class Bahamian women.

“His comments are blight, an indictment and an insult and assault on poor women in our country who are perhaps the most vulnerable grouping our society,” Ms. Hanna Martin said.

 Ms. Hanna Martin added that the negative attention Lightbourn’s commentary also drew the ire of local advocacy groups and those on social media.

She added that as a parliamentarian he should have been more cognizant of his comments and the impact they would have.

“What is most worrisome is that this very demographic of Bahamian woman makes up a very significant portion of his own constituency.

“Perhaps this provided the inspiration for his idea. These comments on a political platform from the lips of a legislator brazenly advocate for women in a specific demographic in our country to have abbreviated or reduced human rights by the restriction of their reproductive rights. His comments objectify women and in particular poor women,” Mrs. Hanna-Martin said.

Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis weighed in on the Lightbourn controversy and reiterated sentiments issued by FNM Chairman Sidney Collie last week.

Dr. Minnis in the House of Assembly yesterday afternoon strongly emphasized the fact that Lightbourn’s comments are not a reflection of the entire FNM.

“Let me state unequivocally and assure this honourable House and the Bahamian people that the Free National Movement has no such policy, no such plan and no such intention.

“On behalf of the Free National Movement, I absolutely repudiate and dissociate myself and the party which I lead from such proposed policy as postulated by the Member for Montagu.

“I wish to make certain facts abundantly clear to this House and the Bahamian public.

The question of imposing any form of state sanctioned sterilization or any state sponsored eugenics practice such as abortions has never at any time been approved,” Dr. Minnis said.

Lightbourn was not only was feeling the scorn of women in the House of Assembly but outside as well.

A small group of women from inner city areas across Nassau armed with placards called for Lightbourn’s resignation while protesting in Rawson Square.

The majority of women did not want to be interviewed; however one lady was able to speak with The Journal.

Maria Barr, a resident of Fox Hill, said she was protesting to preserve the rights of her children.

“Me as a young mother personally, with three kids one of whom is a female, I don’t think it’s fair because I have three kids out of wedlock that I need to get my tubes tied.

“We’re calling on him to resign. Who is he to say how many kids I should have? I think it’s really unfair,” Ms. Barr said.

For his part, Mr. Lightbourne said in the House of Assembly that his critiques were warranted and has since issued a letter of apology.



Written by Jones Bahamas

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