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the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region, this renewed sense of optimism was compounded after President Joe Biden rescinded what is known as the “global gag rule,” which essentially denied funding to international non-profit organizations that provided abortion counseling or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.
The arc of moral progress may be long, but Argentina’s women will prevail
By Jon O'Brien, opinion contributor
Last week’s vote in Argentina’s Senate — which struck down the chance to legalize abortion — was a disappointment for millions of Argentinians and reproductive rights advocates around the world.
But it was also an outcome that is not easily explained away. As we saw in Chile, my native Ireland and Argentina, many Catholic majority countries are opening up about their faith, the ethics of choice and what it means to trust women like never before. Argentina’s unprecedented debate has emboldened a movement for women’s equality and dignity in the country, and the hemisphere, that is unstoppable.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – March against the criminalisation of abortion
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Aug 13, 2018
On 15 July, hundreds (one report said thousands) of people from more than 100 social and political organisations participated in the “March for Life, Health and Dignity of Dominican Women”, which called for the decriminalisation of abortion in the country on three grounds: when the life of the woman is at risk, in cases of rape or incest, and when the fetus is not viable.
The march went from the Dominican Medical College to the National Congress. Placards carried messages such as: “The rich abort, the poor die”, “The sins according to a religion do not have to be crimes for the nation” and “#Abortion3Grounds: the life, health and dignity of women”. There were also demands that legislators “fulfill their role as representatives of the will of the Dominican people, who have pronounced themselves in favour of the three grounds by a large majority.”