Somos Muchas fight for changes to the penal code in Honduras

0

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/

Read more

Lawmakers Uphold Extreme Abortion Penalties in Honduras

0

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/

Read more

Abortion isn’t going to be decriminalized in Honduras anytime soon

0

Abortion isn’t going to be decriminalized in Honduras anytime soon
By Carter Sherman on May 5, 2017

Honduras’s draconian abortion laws will remain in place for the foreseeable future after feminist groups failed to convince lawmakers to soften the country’s complete ban on abortion Thursday.

Honduras is one of a handful of countries worldwide that criminalizes abortion in all circumstances, and any woman who undergoes one may be imprisoned for up to six years. But for the past two years, Honduran lawmakers have been in the midst of completely overhauling the country’s penal code for the first time in more than three decades, explained Elida Caballero Cabrera, advocacy adviser for Latin America and the Caribbean for the Center for Reproductive Rights. United Nations experts and several feminist groups within Honduras believed they had a chance to rewrite the abortion ban too.

Continued at source: VICE: https://news.vice.com/story/abortion-isnt-going-to-be-decriminalized-in-honduras-anytime-soon

Read more

Honduras needs progressive reform of abortion law to advance women’s human rights, say UN experts

0

Honduras needs progressive reform of abortion law to advance women’s human rights, say UN experts

GENEVA (28 April 2017) – Honduras must allow wider scope for legal abortions in new legislation due to be put to the country’s parliament, so that women and girls can enjoy their full human rights to sexual and reproductive health, UN experts* have urged.

A Consultative Commission in Honduras is currently finalising its opinion on a reform of the penal code which the Congress will subsequently vote in plenary in the near future.

Continued at source: UN Office of the Human Rights Commissioner: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21549&LangID=E

Read more

Honduras: Historic opportunity to decriminalize abortion

0

Honduras: Historic opportunity to decriminalize abortion
25 April 2017

Ahead of a debate in the Honduran congress today over the country’s criminalization of abortion, Amnesty International’s Americas Director Erika Guevara-Rosas said:

“By criminalizing abortion, the Honduran Penal Code is incompatible with human rights standards and must be modified without delay.”

“Preventing women from exercising their human rights by stopping them from being able to make decisions over their own bodies only puts their health and lives in danger.”

Continued at source: Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/04/honduras-oportunidad-historica-de-despenalizar-el-aborto/

Read more

Honduras Should Give Women More Access to Abortion

0

Honduras Should Give Women More Access to Abortion
Lawmakers Set to Discuss Loosening Notoriously Strict Anti-Abortion Law

April 24, 2017
Sarah Taylor
Women, Peace and Security Advocate, Women's Rights Division

This week, lawmakers in Honduras will have the chance to allow some women access to abortion, reversing restrictions first imposed more than 30 years ago. Under the current law, terminating a pregnancy is illegal and carries a heavy prison sentence, unless the woman’s life is in danger. But Congress is reportedly considering loosening abortion restrictions, although any proposed text is not yet public.

Continued at source: Human Rights Watch: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/04/24/honduras-should-give-women-more-access-abortion

Read more

Penal Code reform creates the chance to save the lives of women and girls in Honduras

0

Penal Code reform creates the chance to save the lives of women and girls in Honduras

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
April 21, 2017

In a 19 April article in La Prensa.hn from Honduras, the headline read: “Members of Parliament discuss the issue of abortion with calm”. But apart from a photograph of a huge anti-abortion banner below the headline, that was the only mention of abortion law reform in the article – or calm – apart from tiny text below the photo that said abortion was a polemical issue. The article did say, however, that a multi-party Special Commission of the House of Deputies has been meeting to draft reforms to the entire Penal Code, including on abortion. The issue of whether they would achieve consensus on any of the topics was the main discussion point.

A second article, also in April, in Revistazo, which consists mainly of photographs which each link to the full stories, reports that four abandoned babies are found in the rubbish in the capital Tegucigalpa each month, that a safe abortion costs LPS 4,400 and is not difficult to find, that teenagers learn about abortion over the internet and by word of mouth, and that 50,000 adolescent girls per year are stigmatised by early motherhood in Honduras. In regard to the latter, it talks about them going to class with a baby in their backpacks. Honduras has the second highest number of teenage pregnancies in Latin America, according to a UN report released in November, and one in four births is to a child under the age of 19 years. The government would like to lower this rate. But the article also points out that many of these young girls who can find only an unsafe abortion die. So what will the government decide to do?

Also on 19 April, the Honduran group Somos Muchas, a coalition of over 20 organizations as well as individual feminists and activists, and including religious leaders, legal and health professionals, sexual diversity activists and sex trade workers, posted a press release on Twitter. It says this is the first time in 33 years that the Penal Code is being reformed. They call on the Deputies to vote in favour of decriminalising abortion on three grounds: if the woman’s health is at risk, if the fetus has a fatal malformation, or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

According to a report opinion poll, 62% of people in the country support decriminalisation on these 3 grounds.

They report that Honduras is a country with high rates of poverty, violence and impunity. In 2015, there were 2,200 reports of sexual violence, and each year over 900 girls aged 10-14 become pregnant due to rape. Perpetrators are rarely found guilty. Of all maternal deaths in Honduras each year, 20% could be prevented if abortion was decriminalised to protect women’s health.

They point out that a woman with cancer cannot terminate a pregnancy even to access lifesaving treatment, a 10-year-old rape victim must risk her life and give birth, and a woman who learns that her fetus will die at birth is forced to continue the pregnancy, risking physical and emotional trauma.

This is defined by the UN Special Rapporteur against torture as a form of cruel and degrading treatment.

SOURCES: La Prensa.hn, 19 April 2017 ; Revistazo, April 2017 ; @Somos Muchas press release, 19 April 2017

-------------------------------

Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/penal-code-reform-creates-the-chance-to-save-the-lives-of-women-and-girls-in-honduras/

Read more