The HRW report, "Over Their Dead Bodies," found that the ban has not only discouraged women from seeking abortions but has also had a ripple effect on basic obstetric and gynecological care. According to the report, many women are no longer seeking medical help for pregnancy-related complications for fear that they will be accused of inducing an abortion.
"Doctors in Nicaragua are now afraid to provide even legal health services to pregnant women," said Angela Heimburger, Americas researcher at HRW�s Women's Rights Division.
The study also notes that the Nicaraguan government hasn�t enforced guidelines meant to curb these unintended effects of the ban and has no plans to study its effect on women�s health.
On Sunday, protesters with the Nicaraguan Feminist Movement interrupted mass at a church in Managua to protest the ban, the Associated Press reports. Women�s and human rights groups filed petitions in January asking the Nicaraguan Supreme Court to declare the ban unconstitutional, but the Court has yet to rule. The only other countries with blanket bans on abortion are Chile and El Salvador, according to HRW.
Media Resources: The Associated Press 10/2/07; Human Rights Watch Press Release 10/2/07;
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .