Honduras strict abortion law: Women judged no matter the verdict
Honduran women accused of having abortions - even if not convicted - face years of stigmatisation.
18 Sept 2019
Tegucigalpa, Honduras - On a rainy day two years ago, 26-year-old domestic worker Lucia* was sent outside to shut the gate of her employer's home in a rural area on the outskirts of the Honduran capital. Her employers didn't want the sheep to get out. As Lucia headed back inside, she slipped and fell, hitting her back on the ground, according to court documents. She didn't know it at the time, but she was 24 weeks pregnant.
During the early hours the following morning, Lucia screamed in pain. Another domestic worker informed Lucia's employer, who then took her to a nearby hospital in Tegucigalpa, a 20-minute drive from her home. There Lucia learned that she had been more than five months pregnant and had lost the fetus. But what Lucia could not have known then was that her long journey of trauma was only just beginning.
The informal networks resisting Honduras's abortion ban
Through hotlines and clinics, activists and health experts are trying to change the stigma associated with abortion.
July 12, 2019
Tegucigalpa, Honduras - At 22 years old, Ana Padilla was certain of one thing: she did not want to be a mother. So when she found out she was pregnant six years ago, she frantically called a friend to see if she knew how to get an abortion, which is illegal under all circumstances in Honduras. The friend calmed her nerves and gave her the phone number of someone she knew who clandestinely sold mifepristone and misoprostol, pills used for at-home abortions.
"I was desperate in that moment," says Padilla, adding that the experience of buying the pills was "mysterious", like a drug deal.
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.
Honduras abortion misery a 'frightening preview' of America's future – study
Reproductive rights pushback could leave American women facing same life-or-death choices as Hondurans, say researchers
Fri 7 Jun 2019
One woman handcuffed by police after suffering a miscarriage, another forced to bear her rapist’s child. A doctor who risks imprisonment to end pregnancies that threaten the lives of patients. The reality of healthcare in Honduras provides a “frightening preview” of what could happen in America if the pushback on reproductive rights continues, Human Rights Watch has warned.
Researchers from the organisation spoke of the “enormous suffering” of women and girls in Honduras, where there is a total ban on abortion in all circumstances.
Honduras: Abortion Ban’s Dire Consequences
Arrests, Criminal Charges, Health Issues, Bearing Rapist’s Child
June 6, 2019
(New York) – Honduras’ total ban on abortion in all circumstances puts women and girls in danger and violates their rights, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a web feature on the topic. Abortion in Honduras is illegal in all circumstances, including rape and incest, when a woman’s life is in danger, and when the fetus will not survive outside the womb.
The web feature, “Life or Death Choices for Women Living Under Honduras’ Abortion Ban,” shares stories of Honduran women confronting the cruel effects of the abortion law. They include a woman forced to bear her rapist’s child; a woman facing jail after having a miscarriage; women who experienced complications from clandestine abortions; a pro-choice pastor who has faced death threats for her activism; a doctor who cannot always act in her patients’ best interests; and women who share information about safe abortion in secret through an anonymous phone line.
‘I Can No Longer Continue to Live Here’
What’s driving so many Honduran women to the U.S. border? The reality is worse than you’ve heard.
By JILL FILIPOVIC
June 07, 2019
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — In a small town tucked in the hills outside Tegucigalpa, there is a stuffed gray bunny rabbit that knows a little girl’s secrets. “I tell him all my things,” she says. “About how I’m doing, and when I feel sad.” She feels sad a lot lately. “I start thinking about things that I shouldn’t be thinking,” she says.
There are a lot of things she shouldn’t be thinking. She is 12 years old and just weeks away from giving birth to a baby.
Life or Death Choices for Women Living Under Honduras’ Abortion Ban
Women Tell Their Stories
Amy Braunschweiger, Senior Web Communications Manager
Margaret Wurth, Senior Researcher, Children's Rights Division
June 6, 2019
Lorena (a pseudonym) was arrested after having a miscarriage on suspicion of having an abortion. She’s facing criminal charges. © 2019 Amy Braunschweiger for Human Rights Watch
The calls to La Línea almost always came from panicked women, often crying. “Please answer me!” they begged. “Don’t keep me waiting!” Many said they were calling for a “friend.” All were desperate to know the same thing, forbidden by law in Honduras: how to end an unwanted pregnancy safely.
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.
Sociologist shines spotlight on the forced migration of Honduran women
Aarón Sánchez Guerra, Staff Writer
Oct 26, 2017
In an effort to spread awareness of a vast and largely overlooked issue that is focused on Honduran women, feminist sociologist Neesa Medina spoke at an event titled “Deportation and Forced Migration: The View from Honduras” in Park Shops on Oct. 17. The event was co-sponsored by Interdisciplinary Studies and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and organized by the nonprofit Witness For Peace Southeast.
During her speech, Medina described the troublesome climate of being a female in Honduras for students by pointing out that Honduras is one of six countries where abortion is completely illegal. As a result, maternal mortality rate there is high. Women that attempt to get already unsafe abortion procedures and get caught by authorities can be imprisoned for up to eight years. Contraceptives have also been criminalized for the past eight years.
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