Advocates say court ruling that decriminalises abortion in rape cases is an important step, but struggle continues.
By Vincent Ricci
7 May 2021
Quito, Ecuador – Women’s rights advocates have hailed a recent court ruling that will ease restrictions on abortion in cases of rape in Ecuador, the latest country in Latin America to be swept up in the “green wave” abortion rights movement.
In a 7-2 vote on April 28, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador deemed unconstitutional a previous ban that outlawed abortions except in cases where a woman’s life was in danger, or if a woman with a mental disability was raped.
Lawmakers Should Enact Proposed Criminal Code Reform
April 22, 2021
Human Rights Watch
(Washington, DC) – The Congress of the Dominican Republic should adopt a proposal to decriminalize abortion in three circumstances as a matter of urgency, Human Rights Watch said today. The country’s total abortion ban, in effect since 1884, threatens women’s health and lives and is incompatible with its international human rights obligations.
Abortion is illegal in the Dominican Republic even when a pregnancy is life-threatening, unviable, or the result of rape or incest. A proposal being debated by Congress would decriminalize abortion in these cases.
Criminalizing abortions is “causing an increase in maternal mortality and morbidity, which places us as one of the countries with the worst health indicators," one medical professional said.
April 14, 2021
By Nicole Acevedo
A promise made on the campaign trail and not kept has now sparked a month of daily protests in the Dominican Republic, one of two dozen nations in the world with a ban on abortions under all circumstances — even when a woman's life is at risk.
Hundreds of women and reproductive-rights advocates began gathering every day outside the executive mansion of President Luis Abinader in mid-March, after Dominican lawmakers failed to decriminalize abortion when a woman's life is in danger, the pregnancy is not viable or in cases of rape or incest.
Mar 19, 2021
By Ezequiel Abiu Lopez
SANTO DOMINGO (Reuters) - As the abortion rights movement gains pace across Latin America, the issue is heating up in the Dominican Republic - one of the few countries in the region with a total ban on abortion - where activists were camped for an eighth day on Friday outside the president's palace.
Latin America, where the Catholic Church has held cultural and political sway for centuries, has some of the most stringent abortion laws in the world. Argentina legalized the medical procedure in December and abortion rights activists hope it will give impetus to a regional movement.
February 14, 2021
By Kate Chappell (IPS)
HAVANA TIMES – It was a joyful, tearful celebration in the early morning hours of Dec. 30, 2020 for countless Argentinians when they heard the news: the senate had legalized terminations up to 14 weeks of pregnancy. Prior to this, activists have said that more than 3,000 women died of botched, illegal abortions since 1983. And across the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region, this renewed sense of optimism was compounded after President Joe Biden rescinded what is known as the “global gag rule,” which essentially denied funding to international non-profit organizations that provided abortion counseling or referrals.
Now, women and campaigners across LAC are hopeful that these developments will spur lawmakers to consider decriminalizing abortion in their countries, sparing women their lives, economic well-being, dignity and access to a range of options to make the best choice for their reproductive and overall health.
Scores of Dominican women die each year from botched attempts to end unwanted pregnancies
Michelle Del Rey in Santo Domingo
Mon 18 Jan 2021
As Argentina becomes the first major Latin American country to fully legalize abortion, activists in the Dominican Republic fear their own government is banishing its women to the dark ages by upholding a total ban first implemented in 1884.
The Dominican Republic is one of four countries in Latin America – along with Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador – where abortion is illegal in all circumstances.
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.