Dominican Republic Legislature Approves Bill Outlawing Abortion
A bill that would ban all abortion in the Dominican Republic was approved by the country's Revisory Assembly last week. According to the Dominican Today, the constitutional revision in question states: "The right to the life is inviolable from conception until death."
The article was passed without including exceptions in the case of rape, incest, or endangerment of a woman’s health or life. According to Amnesty International, the Dominican Congress is also considering increasing penalties on abortion providers and would require women seeking abortions or attempting to abort a fetus themselves as a result of involuntary assisted fertilization, incest, or rape to serve time in prison. Abortion is currently criminalized in the Dominican Republic.
According to Dominican Today, Aldrian Almonte, President of the Dominican Gynecology and Obstetrics Society, has warned that maternal deaths will rise significantly if the ban is approved. He said "I would like of the honorable legislators to tell me what are we going to do before the presence of a woman with severe preeclampsia or eclampsia, convulsing in any emergency room around the country, what must we do, see her die to protect ourselves from the repercussions that [the ban] stipulates?"
Media Resources: Dominican Today 4/23/09; Amnesty International Press Release 4/24/09