Pros and cons for approved abortion articles
The Penal Code criminalizes abortion, establishing penalties of four to 10 years in prison for anyone who is found to have performed an abortion.
Spokesmen for evangelical churches and the Roman Catholic Church are very much in favor of the strictest measures regarding abortions now incorporated into the Penal Code. Reverend Fidel Lorenzo, president of the Dominican Council for Evangelical Unity (Codue) called the recently passed Penal Code “a notable step the country has taken.” “We have a code to match the times after more than fifteen years of struggle and defending the protection of life.”
Roman Catholic Church priest Manuel Ruiz, who has led the anti-abortion campaign, said he would wait to read the passed bill prior to expressing an opinion to see if all the exclusions had been eliminated.
Nevertheless, the Dominican Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology protested anti-abortion provisions in the recently passed Penal Code. The Society called for the veto of President Danilo Medina to the bill. “Dominican society demands the prevention of unsafe abortions, the respect to women’s rights and the development of a legal framework to provide guarantees for medical interventions to revert deaths associated with abortion,” said the society in a press release. It said that as approved the Penal Code violates the rights of Dominican women and all the population. “The decision puts at risk the professional practice of obstetricians, surgeons and nurses that under exceptional conditions comply with their duty to treat pregnant women whose lives are at risk, under circumstances in which the fetus could bring conditions incompatible with life outside the womb given the aberration of incest or rape,” stated the Society.
The amendments ban abortion while keeping the authorization for these in the cases of all scientific and technical resources are used to save the mother and child’s life (article 110). This amendment was included after President Medina banned the Penal Code that had excluded this exemption.
Nevertheless, outspoken president of the Dominican Medical Association (CMD) Dr. Waldo Ariel Suero said that as approved the Penal Code will result in an increase in maternal mortality and clandestine abortions.
Feminists are asking President Danilo Medina to again veto the Penal Code amendments recently passed in Congress.
Representatives of the Foro Feminista on Wednesday, 20 July 2016 said: “The PLD has absolute control of the Senate and can stop this legislative process and return the bill to the Chamber of Deputies for revision,” said Virtudes de la Rosa, spokesperson for the women’s group. In an interview on “Enfoque Matinal”, on Channel 37, said she expressed hope that Medina will continue to be a strong voice for women and girls in the country and again veto the bill. He said the amendment is a step backwards and would be damaging to public health.
Eliminated from the code is the articles that would have allowed exceptions to the anti-abortion provisions to save the life of the mother, or if malformations of the fetus are detected or the pregnancy was the result of incest.
In 2014, Medina struck down the Penal Code for this same reason.
Source: DR1, Elcaribe
July 21, 2016
Category: DR News |