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Yet another proposal to legalize abortions in the DR

The Gender Commission of the Chamber of Deputies submitted a bill that would decriminalize abortions when the pregnancy puts the mother’s life at risk, or if it is the result of either rape or incest, or when the fetus has no possibility of surviving outside the uterus.

Magda Rodriguez, the chairwoman of the commission, told the assembly that “more than 70% of the population is in agreement with the decriminalization of abortion in these three cases because it is something they understand.”

Ginette Bournigal, a deputy representing Puerto Plata for the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), told reporters that she regretted that the country has still not approved the decriminalization of these abortions “because they fear the Church.”

After learning about this new initiative, the Magaly Pineda Feminist Forum remarked that the criminalization of abortion “is a condemnation of women, especially those who live in poverty (…).”

The divergent positions of the representatives of the Dominican population regarding abortion, an issue that has divided the legislators, once again delayed the approval of a new Penal Code that legislators have been discussing for years.

The Penal Code was approved in 2014, but it has been vetoed on two occasions by President Danilo Medina because it criminalizes abortion in all its forms. The present Penal Code is more than 130 years old.

According to 7dias online news service, the Dominican Republic is one of the countries in the region with the highest index of deaths related to pregnancies, with 106 deaths per 100,000 births. The average for the Caribbean region is 77 per 100,000 births.

The local press also carried the recent news story that the Chile Constitutional Court voted on Monday, 21 August 2017, to lift the country’s total abortion ban, now allowing women to seek an abortion under limited circumstances – when their life is in danger, when a fetus is unviable or when a pregnancy results from rape. As in the Dominican Republic, in Chile abortion bans are a leading cause of maternal deaths because they force women and girls to undergo dangerous backstreet procedures.

In Latin America and the Caribbean now only six countries have blanket abortion bans. These are the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Suriname.

Source: DR1, 7dias

Aug 24, 2017

Category: DR News |

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Last updated November 17, 2017 at 12:17 PM
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