Teen Girls Need Access to Safe and Legal Abortion
On International Day of the Girl, Imagine Life with Reproductive Rights Guaranteed
Margaret Wurth, Senior Researcher, Children's Rights Division MargaretWurth
October 11, 2019
Today, on International Day of the Girl, we have an opportunity to reflect on what life could be like if girls around the world had access to safe and legal abortion. I’ve done research in countries with some of the world’s harshest abortion laws. I’ve met girls and young women whose lives were derailed by an unplanned pregnancy during adolescence.
“Lucely,” from the Dominican Republic, became pregnant at age 16. “Everything ended right there,” she said. Abortion is banned in all circumstances in the country, so she couldn’t get a safe and legal abortion. She tried using a home remedy to end the pregnancy, but it didn’t work. She gave birth, and without a support network to help her, she dropped out of school.
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.
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.
C-section for 11 year-old rape victim in Argentina sparks outcry
Feb 28, 2019
BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - An 11-year-old rape victim in Argentina was forced to deliver her baby prematurely by caesarian section despite requesting an abortion, sparking an outcry by women’s rights campaigners.
The girl became pregnant after being raped by her grandmother’s 65-year-old boyfriend, according to local media reports.
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.