In the Dominican Republic doctors are not treating a 16-year-old girl with acute leukemia because of her pregnancy, CNN reports. Article 37 of the Dominican constitution, passed in 2009 states: "the right to the life is inviolable from conception until death." Because of this bill, abortion is illegal in every case, including rape, incest, and endangerment of a woman's health or life. The unnamed girl is dying and needs an aggressive chemotherapy treatment, which would more than likely terminate her pregnancy. The teen is approximately 12 weeks pregnant. Doctors are fearful of providing her with the treatment she needs out of fear of legal action, but the current state of her treatment is unclear.
The girl's mother, Rosa Hernandez, is trying to convince health and government officials to make an exception and give her daughter the chance of survival. "My daughter's life is first. I know that [abortion] is a sin and that it goes against the law ... but my daughter's health is first," Hernandez said.
"How can it be possible that so much time is being wasted? That the treatment hasn't begun yet because they're still meeting, trying to decide if she has the right to receive the treatment to save her life -- that's unacceptable," said Lilliam Fondeur, a women's rights activist in the Dominican Republic.
This case highlights the concerns raised by Aldrian Almonte, President of the Dominican Gynecology and Obstetrics Society, in 2009 when the ban was passed. He warned that maternal deaths would rise significantly as a result of Article 37 and 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: CNN 7/25/12; Care2 7/27/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 4/27/09
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .