Accessibility

Close

Text size

All popular browsers allow zooming in and out by pressing the Ctrl (Cmd in OS X) and + or - keys. Or alternatively hold down the Ctrl key and scroll up or down with the mouse.

Line height

Contrast

ISO ALPHA-3 country code
DOM

CRITICAL CHANCE TO DECRIMINALIZE ABORTION

Critical chance to decriminalize abortion

Dominican Republic map
0
days left to take action

A comprehensive reform of the Criminal Code in the Dominican Republic has been ongoing for several years. Under the Criminal Code currently in force, women seeking abortion services and those who provide those services face criminal sanctions regardless of the circumstances in which the abortion was sought or provided. In 2010 a new Constitution entered into force stating the inviolability of the right to life “from conception to death” in its article 37.

A revised Criminal Code was approved by the Chamber of Deputies in 2014 that integrated the decriminalization of abortion in the three circumstances: where the pregnancy poses a risk to the life of a pregnant woman or girl, where the fetus could not survive outside the womb, and where the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. However, in December 2015 the Constitutional Court struck down the proposed reforms through Judgement 599-15 leaving the old Criminal Code in force, which dates back to 1884. In July 2017, Congress rejected a new proposed reform of the Criminal Code that failed to decriminalize abortion in the three limited circumstances. Current president Luis Abinader expressed support for the decriminalization of abortion in the 3 circumstances described and a growing number of Congresspeople are expressing their support as well.

Evidence shows that total bans on abortion do not reduce the number of abortions but instead increase the risk of women dying due to illegal, unsafe abortions. The World Health Organization has warned that restrictive abortion laws put women and girls living in poverty, and those living in rural and more isolated areas at particular risk of unsafe abortions. Criminalization of abortion in all circumstances deters women from seeking medical care and creates a ‘chilling effect’ on doctors who are fearful of providing life-saving treatment to women whose life or health are at risk by pregnancy, or who suffer complications from an unsafe abortion. 

In the Dominican Republic, women and girls continue to die for preventable reasons due to the current total ban on abortion. This was the case for Rosaura Almonte, known by the media as “Esperancita”, who died in 2012 after not receiving life-saving chemotherapy for leukemia because she was seven weeks pregnant at the time and the treatment she needed would have affected the foetus she was carrying. Doctors delayed treating her because abortion, and those that facilitate abortion, can be criminally punished.
 

Downloads
Download full UA in PDF
Download full UA in word

Americas: Health workers at 'horrendous risk' of COVID-19 as governments fail to offer protection to those on frontline

Americas has more than 2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 - around half of all positive-tested cases globally Workers are enduring unsafe conditions with insufficient protective equipment and risk reprisals from authorities or employers if they speak out Amnesty urges countries to prioritise and protect health workers’ rights and calls on US to take swift and decisive action to guarantee continued funding to the WHO ‘It’s impossible to protect the health of one billion people… if governments insist on silencing the whistle-blowers, journalists and health workers who courageously raise their

View latest press releases

Urgent Action update: Congress rejects regressive abortion reform in Dominican Republic

On 11 July, the Chamber of Deputies of the Dominican Congress voted to reject proposed reforms to the Criminal Code that failed to decriminalize abortion in limited circumstances and continued to violate the rights of women and girls.

6th update on UA 151/16 issued 14/07/2017

Urgent Action update: Urge congress to decriminalize abortion in the Dominican Republic

In May 2017, the Dominican Senate voted to reject the President’s recommendations to decriminalize abortion. The President’s recommendations are now being discussed by the Justice Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, which is expected to vote on the recommendations soon.

5th update on UA 151/16 issued 23/06/2017

UA update: Abortion vote pending after president's veto in Dominican Republic

In December 2016, the Dominican President rejected a regressive reform of the Criminal Code regarding abortion that had previously been adopted by the Senate.

UA 151/16 issued 13/01/2017

UA update: Urge the president to decriminalize abortion in Dominican Republic

The Dominican Congress adopted a comprehensive reform of the Criminal Code which maintains the criminalization of abortion except where the pregnancy poses a risk to the life of a pregnant woman or girl.

3rd update on UA 151/16 issued 15/12/2016

Urgent Action: Defender combatting statelessness attacked in Dominican Republic

Around 8.30pm on 25 September, Dominican human rights defender Genaro Rincon was verbally and physically assaulted in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.

UA 220/16 issued 27/09/2016

Urgent action update: Vote on the right to abortion pending in Dominican Rep.

The Dominican Republic Senate was due to vote on 25 July on a reform to the Criminal Code which maintains the criminalization of abortion except where the pregnancy poses a risk to the life of a pregnant woman or girl.

2nd update on UA 151/16 issued 26/07/2016

Urgent Action update: Congress vote a step back for abortion rights

The Dominican Republic Congress voted on a new reform of the Criminal Code on 19 July. This new code regresses the rights of women and girls as it now only allows abortion where the pregnancy poses a risk to the life of a pregnant woman or girl.

1st update on UA 151/16 issued on 20/07/2016

Urgent Action: Imminent critical congress vote on abortion in Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic Congress is set to vote on July on a partial reform of the Penal Code related to abortion. Lawmakers must not allow a regression in women´s rights.

UA 151/16 issued 28/06/2016
1/3
Subscribe to Dominican Republic