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Nicaragua’s Complete Ban on Abortion

Nicaragua’s Complete Ban on Abortion

Amnesty International has recently released a report about Nicaragua’s complete ban on abortion and the toll it has taken on the health of girls and women.

Nicaraguan law used to allow abortion if the mother’s life was threatened, but a new Penal Code enacted in 2008 has eliminated all exceptions and has enacted harsh prison sentences for both the women or girls who seek abortions and the health care professionals who perform or provide information about them. Even girls or women who suffer miscarriages and health professionals who provide treatment are subject to imprisonment, as it is often difficult or impossible to determine whether a pregnancy was deliberately terminated or not.

Officials report that 33 pregnant girls or women have died this year, a 60 percent increase from last year’s figures, and actual numbers are estimated to be higher.

Citing the ban as a violation of the rights of women and girls, the United Nations has demanded, through four different bodies: the Committee against Torture, the Human Rights Committee, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Committee on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women, that the Nicaraguan government repeal the law .

In the report, Amnesty ilustrates how the ban harshly discriminates against gender:

“Only women and girls risk physical and mental suffering or losing their lives as a result of delays in or denial of medical treatment if complications arise during pregnancy. Only women and girls are compelled to continue a medically dangerous or unwanted pregnancy or face imprisonment. Only women and girls suffer the mental anguish and physical pain of an unsafe abortion, risking their health and life in the process.”

Besides Nicaragua, El Salvador, Malta, Ireland and Chile are the only countries in the world with complete bans on abortion, although Chile allows for emergency contraception.

America should be among the countries setting the example on non-discriminatory laws. Take action by asking President Obama to keep protecting reproductive choice!

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80 comments

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10:12PM PDT on Sep 3, 2009

For some reason I can't the whole link on here. In 2 parts then:
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/magazine/
articles/2004/01/25/my_late_term_abortion/
Make sure you get the whole URL into your window with no gaps.

10:08PM PDT on Sep 3, 2009

Jay, everyone -- Please read this article. It is a very clear, very powerful insight into one unspoken angle of this issue.
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/magazine/articles/2004/01/25/my_late_term_abortion/

12:25AM PDT on Aug 25, 2009

What are human rights if they do not proctect the most vunerable people? Abortions do not only kill children, but harm the mothers' bodies in the prosses. I understand people are not seeking to completly overturn the ban, but is abortion really worth killing one life and risking another?

5:46AM PDT on Aug 14, 2009

Robert, you're right! But, "safe death"?! Yes, I know that it is a helluva lot more complicated and I haven't ever been pregnant to know first hand how close one can be to unborn child... And there is not a perfect picture that I can paint where a woman would NEVER want to perform an abortion. Trust me, I would love to paint that picture... But, Robert, do you believe that it is indeed MURDER?

4:07PM PDT on Aug 13, 2009

i am surprised by your simplistic understanding of the issue Simone, if you have read the comments already posted you may glean the idea that there is more to this issue than simply saying no its wrong don't do it… if you want to go over these rational arguments please ask a question as i would like you to understand why in this imperfect world a woman has a right to the safe death of her foetus. Please talk about what kind of world you would like to see so that a woman was never forced into having to make such a decision. Bye Robert.

1:01PM PDT on Aug 13, 2009

If only Abortion can be banned, WORLDWIDE!

3:46AM PDT on Aug 12, 2009

I wonder if they'd consider a miscarriage to be abortion.

6:39PM PDT on Aug 11, 2009

Thanks Annabel. Moreover, Abstinence needs to be given its own Two Cents. A woman's 'right to choose' is her RIGHT to say "No" and have her country honor and respect it.

6:36PM PDT on Aug 11, 2009

As much as I see abortion a permanent non solution to a temporary "problem" (I hope I was never this to my mother before I myself was born) I see this country's stand as being extreme and a whole other issue. Free will must preside for its own sake but the oppression of anyone man or woman should not be supported, it harms everyone.

8:35PM PDT on Aug 6, 2009

Sounds like South Dakota.

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