CASTRIES, November 20, 2003 ( – St. Lucia’s prime minister, Kenny Anthony, has cancelled parliamentary debate on his plan to partially liberalize the Caribbean island’s abortion law, after 9,000 Catholics signed a petition demanding that the legislation be shelved.  The 90% Catholic nation of 160,000 was shocked in September when the government, without any significant public demand, introduced a bill to allow abortion in cases of rape, incest or for the “health” of the mother. After public pressure, the latest version of the bill provides for a “cooling off” period of 48 hours after requesting an abortion, including counselling.  The bill has now been twice postponed, and Anthony says it will now be introduced when Parliament meets, probably next month.  For newswire coverage:


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