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Mother Denied Cancer Treatment Because of Abortion Ban

Mother Denied Cancer Treatment Because of Abortion Ban

Nicaragua’s law banning all abortions without exception carries with it lethal consequences. 

Because abortion is completely illegal in Nicaragua, a 27 year-old mother of a ten-year old girl will likely die from treatable cancer.  “Amelia” is ten-weeks pregnant and recently diagnosed with advanced cancer.  Doctors determined that terminating her pregnancy was necessary to treat the cancer because the treatment would likely harm or kill the fetus.  But because even therapeutic abortion is punishable with criminal sanctions, the doctors will not allow Amelia to terminate her pregnancy, nor will they administer the cancer treatment because in Nicaraguan law a pregnancy takes precedence over a woman’s right to life.

Nicaragua’s ban has been condemned by human rights and medical organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.  These groups, along with four United Nations committees including the Committee against Torture, the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, the Human Rights Committee, and the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women have made specific recommendations that Nicaragua change its law to permit therapeutic abortion.  The move comes in the face of mounting evidence of many more cases like Amelia’s where women have died or been injured because they were denied a therapeutic abortion.

You can do something too.  Care2 has launched a petition calling on Nicaragua to allow Amelia access to the cancer treatments that could allow her to live and continue parenting her 10 year-old daughter.  Reproductive Health Reality Check has a list of contacts for Nicaraguan authorities.  No woman should be forced to orphan her child because she was denied access to basic medical care.  Call on Nicaragua to change it’s law and help Amelia get access to medical services she
rightfully deserves.

Sign the Care2 petition here.

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photo courtesy of Unhindered by Talent via Flickr

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130 comments

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11:28PM PST on Feb 25, 2011

Oh, and what HAS happened to this young woman in the year since this article first was published?

11:26PM PST on Feb 25, 2011

Marianne C. said it all. What more is there to say?

11:22AM PST on Feb 21, 2011

So whats happened to this lady since this has been written?

4:11AM PST on Feb 21, 2011

The doctors are willing to definitely kill the unborn fetus, yet refuse to treat the woman for fear of possibly harming it? How ludicrious! Do these men not have mothers, sisters, wives who could find themselves in the same position? Unfortunately, this type of thinking seems to be permeating the Republican agenda here in America. God Help Us!!!!!!!

7:06PM PST on Feb 20, 2011

How can the Nicaraguan government be 'pro-life' if it means condeming a woman to death and orphaning her child?

6:35PM PST on Feb 20, 2011

Signing petition!

3:43PM PST on Feb 20, 2011

This woman needs to come to the U>S> appeals should be made to our gov. to get her hear,, we heard about her story so i believe someone in our government could help her,, this is outrageous. Danielle Teepe

3:38PM PST on Feb 20, 2011

As I have said before, abortion should be the woman's choice. No government should not be involved at all!

3:19PM PST on Feb 20, 2011

Debbie, all I'm saying is that I think that abortion should be allowed from one end of the pregnancy to the other, if the life of the mother is in danger. For simply choice type of abortion, I think it should only be allowed in the first trimester with a much better option being to give so much support to these pregnant women that they would actually choose to go ahead with the pregnancy and bring their babies into a world promising TLC for them for the rest of their lives.

9:06AM PST on Feb 20, 2011

@Ainsley - It's not up to you to endorse ANYONE'S choice of whether or not to have an abortion. Keep it legal.

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