Total abortion ban fueling teenage pregnancy and unsafe terminations in Dominican Republic, report finds
'I felt like the world was falling down on me. I was going crazy, thinking I can’t have a kid,' says young woman
Maya Oppenheim, Women's Correspondent @mayaoppenheim
June 18, 2019
The total abortion ban, wholly inadequate sex education in schools and obstacles to accessing contraception are fuelling teenage pregnancy and unsafe abortion in the Dominican Republic, a new report has found.
The Dominican Republic has a deeply machismo culture and is one of the few countries in the world which has a complete ban on abortion - the procedure is illegal in all cases, including when the life of the woman or girl is at risk.
What Life is Like When Abortion is Banned
Margaret Wurth, Senior Researcher, Children's Rights Division
June 10, 2019
As Republicans in states around the country pass sweeping abortion bans, I think about what life could be like for women and girls if these laws take effect. I don’t have to use my imagination.
Women and girls across Latin America are already living in places where abortion is heavily restricted or completely banned. In the past year, I’ve done research for Human Rights Watch in two countries that ban abortion completely, without any exceptions, even if the woman’s life is in danger.
Dominican Republic: Abortion Ban Endangers Health
Criminal Penalties Violate Rights
November 19, 2018
(Santo Domingo) – The Dominican Republic’s total ban on abortion threatens women's health and lives and violates their rights, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Abortion is illegal in the Dominican Republic in all circumstances, even when a pregnancy is life-threatening, unviable, or the result of rape.
The 78-page report, “‘It’s Your Decision, It’s Your Life’: The Total Criminalization of Abortion in the Dominican Republic,” documents that women and girls facing unwanted pregnancies have clandestine abortions, often at great risk to their health and lives. Many experience health complications from unsafe abortions, and some die. Some women and girls face abuse, neglect, or mistreatment by healthcare providers. The ban does not stop abortion but drives it underground and makes it less safe. As a starting place toward meeting the country’s human rights obligations, Congress should decriminalize abortion in three circumstances.
New report explores what total abortion ban means in the Dominican Republic
By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
Mon November 19, 2018
(CNN) A woman spoke of her 16-year-old daughter who died after being denied chemotherapy for leukemia because she was in the early weeks of pregnancy. A nurse described how a woman who was experiencing heavy bleeding after self-inducing an abortion was forced by medical providers to wait for treatment as "punishment" -- only to lose too much blood to be saved. An outreach worker remembered the mentally disabled 14-year-old girl who became pregnant at 12, probably by her father, and received no care.
Stories like these are revealed in a new Human Rights Watch report, released Monday, that focuses on the effect of a total government ban on abortions in the Dominican Republic.
The arc of moral progress may be long, but Argentina’s women will prevail
By Jon O'Brien, opinion contributor
Last week’s vote in Argentina’s Senate — which struck down the chance to legalize abortion — was a disappointment for millions of Argentinians and reproductive rights advocates around the world.
But it was also an outcome that is not easily explained away. As we saw in Chile, my native Ireland and Argentina, many Catholic majority countries are opening up about their faith, the ethics of choice and what it means to trust women like never before. Argentina’s unprecedented debate has emboldened a movement for women’s equality and dignity in the country, and the hemisphere, that is unstoppable.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – March against the criminalisation of abortion
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Aug 13, 2018
On 15 July, hundreds (one report said thousands) of people from more than 100 social and political organisations participated in the “March for Life, Health and Dignity of Dominican Women”, which called for the decriminalisation of abortion in the country on three grounds: when the life of the woman is at risk, in cases of rape or incest, and when the fetus is not viable.
The march went from the Dominican Medical College to the National Congress. Placards carried messages such as: “The rich abort, the poor die”, “The sins according to a religion do not have to be crimes for the nation” and “#Abortion3Grounds: the life, health and dignity of women”. There were also demands that legislators “fulfill their role as representatives of the will of the Dominican people, who have pronounced themselves in favour of the three grounds by a large majority.”
Latin America's fight to legalise abortion: the key battlegrounds
After Argentina rejected a bill to allow abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, hopes of reform now rest elsewhere
Thu 9 Aug 2018
An estimated 6.5 million abortions take place across Latin America each year. Three-quarters of these procedures are unlawful, often performed in unsafe illegal clinics or at home.
Of 33 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, only Cuba, Uruguay and Guyana permit elective abortions. Women also have the right to choose in Mexico City. Elsewhere, however, the right to an abortion is severely restricted, with terminations often permitted in cases of rape, or if the pregnancy will endanger the life of the mother. Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Suriname all have a complete ban on abortion.
We know what it looks like when abortion is illegal. Just look at these countries.
Making abortion illegal doesn't mean people stop seeking abortion.
Jul 5, 2018
With news of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s imminent retirement from the Supreme Court and the likely appointment of a justice who will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, abortion could soon be illegal in large parts of the country.
Women and gender minorities would no longer have the right to choose when to have a child — that’s a given, no matter how one thinks of it. We already know what that looks like, since it’s a reality in many other countries.
The big picture: Women around the world are fighting for abortion rights
June 17, 2018
Argentina took a step towards legalizing abortions last week after the lower house of its legislature sent a bill to the Senate that would allow the procedure in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, the BBC reports.
The big picture: Women in countries around the world are fighting for abortion rights, but the Guttmacher Institute reported that 42% of women of reproductive age worldwide still live in countries where abortion is "highly restricted," meaning it's entirely illegal or only allowed to "save a woman's life or protect her health."
'Savita!': why the Irish abortion vote touched women the world over
Finally, a woman’s death at the hands of an old madness did not mean nothing
Wed 30 May 2018
The photograph from the Irish referendum that brought me undone was of white-haired men in the street holding a yellow banner. It read “Grandfathers for Yes”. It came across my phone as I traversed Melbourne in the 86 tram only a couple of days before the vote, like a lobbed bomb of hope and love, relief and change. I sobbed aloud.
It struck with specific weight because there’d been another photo circulating a week earlier of Irish men the same age in a sadly more familiar scenario. “Vote NO” read their own pink signs, “Support women, protect babies, save lives.” That one had left me not in hot tears but a cold rage.