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CRITICAL CHANCE TO DECRIMINALIZE ABORTION

Critical chance to decriminalize abortion

Dominican Republic map
39
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.
 

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ATTACK ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

Attack on sexual and reproductive rights

Street in Honduras
0
days left to take action

In April 2017, Honduras missed a historic opportunity to protect women's rights and guarantee them access to safe and legal abortion. Despite recommendations made by International human rights bodies and mechanisms, the National Congress of Honduras decided to maintain the total ban on abortion. 

Under the new Penal Code that entered into force in June 2020, abortion continues to be criminalized in all cases, including when the life and health of the woman is at risk or when the pregnancy is the result of sexual violence. Honduras is one of nine countries in the world that continues to prohibit any form of abortion.  

According to an analysis based on data from the Ministry of Health in 2018, the NGO Women's Rights Center noted that 75% of maternal hospital deaths could have been prevented if the pregnancy had been terminated. During the analysis of legal files of women of women criminalized for abortion, CDM also found 47 criminal files against women prosecuted for abortion. 

Marriage between people of the same sex is also explicitly prohibited in the Honduran Constitution.  
 

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Northern Ireland: Amnesty welcomes legal action against government to ensure abortion services

© Amnesty

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission commences legal case against UK Government and Northern Ireland Executive Amnesty International has welcomed the start of legal action by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) against the Secretary of State, NI Executive and Department of Health for Northern Ireland for failing to commission and fund abortion services in Northern Ireland. The Commission has lodged judicial review proceedings in the High Court. Last week, Northern Ireland’s South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust stopped referrals to their early medical abortion service

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Northern Ireland: Abortion services cease at South Eastern Trust following Health Department failure

More than a third of million people affected across County Antrim and County Down Health Minister’s failure to commission services and provide funding is forcing vital abortion care to a halt Women still have a legal entitlement to this service but will have to travel to other trust areas ‘The Minister has created a postcode lottery for healthcare, forcing women to travel in the midst of a pandemic’ – Patrick Corrigan Amnesty International has learned that Northern Ireland’s South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust has stopped referrals to their early medical abortion service as of today (5

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Argentina: Legalising abortion an historic victory for human rights

Law enables termination up to the 14th week of pregnancy Bill was passed with 38 votes in favour, 29 against and 1 abstention in the Senate ‘Today we have grown as a society’ - Mariela Belski Amnesty International welcomes the historic passage of a law enabling the termination of pregnancy up to the 14th week of gestation in Argentina, an achievement that serves as an inspiration to other countries in the region – as well as the wider world - to move towards recognising access to safe, legal abortion. Mariela Belski, Executive Director of Amnesty International Argentina, said: “This is a

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Denmark: 'Historic day' as law passes to recognise that sex without consent is rape

© Jonas Persson

Denmark is only the 12th country in Europe to recognise sex without consent as rape Responding to the passing of a bill in Denmark’s Parliament today that, once law, will recognise that sex without consent is rape, Anna Błuś, Amnesty International’s Women’s Rights Researcher, said: “This is a great day for women in Denmark as it consigns outdated and dangerous rape laws to the dustbin of history and helps to end pervasive stigma and endemic impunity for this crime. “Since culture is downstream from law, this is a vital first step towards change. The next task is to start creating a culture

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BILL RESTRICTING ACCESS TO SAFE ABORTION REJECTED

Bill restricting access to safe abortion rejected

#AbortoLegalYa
0
days left to take action

Urgent Action outcome: Bill restricting safe access to abortion rejected

On 20 October, the Slovak Parliament rejected a bill that would have further obstructed access to safe abortion care.

1st update on UA 128/20

LEGAL ABORTION IS CLOSER THAN EVER

Legal abortion closer than ever

#AbortoLegalYa
0
days left to take action

Urgent Action outcome: Legal abortion closer than ever

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez publicly committed to present a bill to Congress to legalise abortion.

1st update on UA 163/20
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