Dominican Republic to uphold total ban on abortion

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Dominican Republic to uphold total ban on abortion

On May 31, the Dominican Senate voted to uphold a total ban on abortion. Even in cases of rape and incest, and when the woman’s life is in danger.
June 1, 2017 by Raquel Rosario Sanchez

On May 31, the Dominican Senate voted to uphold a total ban on abortion. The country is among six countries worldwide that have banned abortion in all circumstances, including when the life of the mother is in danger. Others are: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Vatican City, Malta, and Chile. The Senate had the opportunity to change the grim situation of reproductive rights and access in the country on Wednesday, however, they voted to uphold the archaic legislation by a margin of 27 to two.

Continued at source: Feminist Current: http://www.feministcurrent.com/2017/06/01/dominican-republic-uphold-total-ban-abortion/

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Dominican Republic: Senate faces golden opportunity to decriminalize abortion

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Dominican Republic: Senate faces golden opportunity to decriminalize abortion
31 May 2017

Senators in the Dominican Republic must scrap one of the world’s most restrictive laws on abortion and begin to protect the rights of millions of women and girls, Amnesty International said ahead of a vote that could decriminalize abortion in certain circumstances.

“Senators in the Dominican Republic have a golden opportunity to protect the lives of millions of women and girls. They must seize the moment and scrap one of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws contained in a Criminal Code which dates back to the 19th century,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

Continued at source: Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/05/dominican-republic-senate-faces-golden-opportunity-to-decriminalize-abortion/

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El Salvador: What happens when abortion is illegal in all circumstances

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What happens when abortion is illegal in all circumstances

Jeannette Urquilla
May 30, 2017

El Salvador has one of the worst records on reproductive rights in the world. Since 1998, Article 133 of the Penal Code has made abortion illegal in all circumstances, without exception, punishable by up to eight years in prison. Sentences of up to 30 years have been handed down when a judge determined that “homicide” rather than abortion had occurred. The Alliance for Women’s Health and Life has reported that 147 El Salvadorian women were charged with crimes relating to abortion between 2000 and 2014.

Because our laws are so draconian, so tilted in favor of the rights of fetuses over those of living women, pregnant women experiencing difficulties may not feel safe in El Salvador’s hospitals. We’ve all heard about Maria Teresa Rivera, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison after she miscarried. (She was released after serving four.) We are terrified of having medical problems during pregnancy as there is an underlying presumption of guilt. So women often suffer in silence, which causes further complications.

Continued at source: LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-urquilla-el-salvador-abortion-20170530-story.html

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Jamaica: Thinking of having an abortion? Please read this

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Thinking of having an abortion? Please read this
Published:Monday | May 29, 2017
Michael Abrahams

Although abortion is, for the most part, illegal in Jamaica, you are surrounded by women who have had pregnancies terminated. Lawyers, doctors, domestic helpers, nurses, policewomen, teachers, hairdressers. They work in your office, walk past you in supermarket aisles and sit beside you at church.

But many women who have abortions place themselves at risk without even knowing it. This is because shortcuts are often taken, which can cause significant morbidity or even death. I am not encouraging any woman to have an abortion, but the truth is that whether the procedure is legal or not, if a woman is determined not to carry a pregnancy, she will find ways of having it terminated. I am not in the habit of giving advice to people regarding breaking the law, but in this instance, I have placed concern for human safety above political correctness. So, if you have decided that you must terminate a pregnancy, please read this carefully.

Continued at source: Jamaica Gleaner: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/commentary/20170529/michael-abrahams-thinking-having-abortion-please-read

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SOLIDARITY REQUEST: Urge El Salvador legislators to decriminalize abortion

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SOLIDARITY REQUEST: Urge El Salvador legislators to decriminalize abortion
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
May 12, 2017

SOLIDARITY REQUEST:

In a statement on 8 May 2017, Amnesty International said that the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly has a historic opportunity to reject the criminalisation of abortion and protect the health and lives of millions of women throughout the country, in light of a debate due to start this month which could result in the first steps being taken towards partial decriminalization of abortion. It is the first time in almost 20 years that there is a real opportunity to change this law.

The ruling party, Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, tabled the bill in October 2016. The bill would decriminalize abortion on four grounds: if the pregnancy poses a risk to the life of a pregnant woman or girl, or there is a risk to her physical or mental health, or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or if the fetus would be unable to survive outside the womb. Another bill was tabled by anti-abortion Assembly members that would increase the criminal penalties to up to 50 years.

Continued at source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/solidarity-request-urge-el-salvadorian-legislators-to-decriminalize-abortion/

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New Study Highlights Demographics of Women Who Have Abortions in 28 Low- and Middle-Income Countries

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New Study Highlights Demographics of Women Who Have Abortions in 28 Low- and Middle-Income Countries

May 10, 2017, News Release

Demographic characteristics of women who obtain abortions vary widely by country and region, according to an article recently published in PLOS ONE, “Characteristics of Women Obtaining Induced Abortions in Selected Low- and Middle-Income Countries,” by Guttmacher Institute researchers Dr. Sophia Chae and colleagues. Their work updates a previous study published in 1999 and measures characteristics such as abortion patients’ age, marital status, number of previous births, wealth, education, and urban or rural residence.

The researchers analyzed data collected from 2002 to 2014 in 28 low- and middle-income countries—five in Africa, 13 in Asia, eight in Europe, and two in Latin America and the Caribbean. Abortion is legally and severely restricted in approximately half of the countries studied, and in many others, safe abortion services are not easily accessible despite being legal.

Continued at source: Guttmacher Institute: https://www.guttmacher.org/news-release/2017/new-study-highlights-demographics-women-who-have-abortions-28-low-and-middle

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Somos Muchas fight for changes to the penal code in Honduras

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Somos Muchas fight for changes to the penal code in Honduras
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
May 9, 2017

The above photograph was taken at a sit-in outside the National Congress on 4 May where anti-abortion demonstrators shouted and shook their fists, threw eggs and water at the sit-in and slashed their banners with knives.

For the past two years, Honduran lawmakers have been completely overhauling the country’s Penal Code for the first time in more than three decades. Every article of the Penal Code was being changed in some way except for the one on abortion, so there was hope that this would open the possibility of a revision of the ban on abortion too. For many months now, Somos Muchas, a coalition of groups in Honduras who support safe abortion, have campaigned for the Special Commission charged with revising the Penal Code to allow abortions on grounds of rape/incest, fatal fetal anomaly, and for health reasons.

Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/somos-muchas-fight-for-changes-to-the-penal-code-in-honduras/

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El Salvador: Critical opportunity to put an end to total criminalization of abortion

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El Salvador: Critical opportunity to put an end to total criminalization of abortion
8 May 2017, 11:19 UTC

The Legislative Assembly of El Salvador has a historic opportunity to reject the criminalization of abortion and protect the health and lives of millions of women throughout the country, said Amnesty International in light of a debate which could result in the first steps being taken towards the end of criminalization of abortion in the country.

“The total ban on abortion is, quite simply, a form of torture which puts the lives of millions of women and girls at risk every day,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

Continued at source: Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/05/el-salvador-oportunidad-crucial-para-poner-fin-a-la-penalizacion-total-del-aborto/

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UN Urges El Salvador to Decriminalize Abortion in Certain Cases

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UN Urges El Salvador to Decriminalize Abortion in Certain Cases

Published 8 May 2017

The Central American nation upholds a total ban on abortion, which jails women for miscarriages and ends up prioritizing fetuses over women's lives.

A group of experts at the United Nations said Monday El Salvador's Congress should decriminalize abortion in specific circumstances to protect women's rights and bring the country in line with international human rights standards.

The U.N. Working Groups and Special Rapporteurs urged the Central American to "seize an exceptional opportunity to advance the protection of the human rights of women and girls" by reviewing the Article 133 of its penal code which outlines penalties for women who seek or cause an abortion.

Continued at source: Telesurvtv: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/UN-Urges-El-Salvador-to-Decriminalize-Abortion-in-Certain-Cases-20170508-0016.html

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Lawmakers Uphold Extreme Abortion Penalties in Honduras

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NEWSFLASH: Lawmakers Uphold Extreme Abortion Penalties in Honduras
May 8, 2017 by Meliss Arteaga

A vote Thursday by lawmakers in Honduras upheld the nation’s extreme abortion laws.

“Today is a lamentable day for the girls and women of Honduras,” said Grecia Lozano, staff attorney with the Center for Women’s Rights, in a statement, “a country where more than 900 girls become pregnant due to rape each year, where women die in childbirth in preventable ways, where women suffer the torturous experience of bringing an unviable pregnancy to term.”

Continued at source: Ms. Magazine: http://msmagazine.com/blog/2017/05/08/newsflash-lawmakers-uphold-extreme-abortion-penalties-honduras/

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