Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Nicaraguan Government Urged to Permit Abortions

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A group of women delivered thousands of signatures demanding the restoration of therapeutic abortion to representatives of President Daniel Ortega.  The signatures, collected in Europe by Amnesty International, were turned in by leaders of the Strategic Group for the Decriminalization of Therapeutic Abortion, in hopes that international pressure will aid in passing “legislation regarding abortion to be able to save women’s lives,” according to Wendy Flores, one of the group’s leaders. 

In Nicaragua, Chile and El Salvador, abortions are illegal under any circumstances, including rape, incest or risk to the mother’s life.  According to Flores, women in Nicaragua have died because abortions are inaccessible. She accused the government of withholding data about such deaths.  The prohibition on abortions is a recent development, having been outlawed following the 2006 electoral campaign, after being allowed in cases where the mother’s life was at risk for over a century.  The decision has been criticized by women’s groups, the physicians’ association of Nicaragua, Human Rights Watch, the United Nations, and the European Union, which have demanded further discussion on the issue. 

The petition was coordinated to coincide with an international Day for the Decriminalization of Abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean, which saw protests and rallies in other Latin American countries to decriminalize abortions. 

Tags: Abortion in Latin America, Amnesty International, Nicaragua, Women's rights
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