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.
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.