Since 2006, Nicaragua has been one of only 3 countries in the world to completely ban abortion under any circumstance. Most recently in July 2008, the penal code was reinforced by the government to criminalize abortions sought, obtained or performed for any reason, the medical providers who perform abortions, and even women who suffer from miscarriages. In addition, doctors and nurses who treat pregnant women for illnesses where the treatment can cause injury or death to the embryo or fetus she carries will also be prosecuted for causing harm to the developing pregnancy.
Amnesty International has a report which details the atrocities that have occurred because of this law and discusses the various human rights violations as a result of this ban. The article goes further to include the official figures of 33 girls and women who have died during pregnancy in the past year alone, most like an under-reported figure, and how there has been a recorded rise in pregnant teen suicide by poison in 2008.
It is obvious to anyone who values the lives of women and the right to control their reproduction, that this continued ban in Nicaragua is a dangerous to women and is a clear violation of human rights. It is important to recognize what barriers to reproductive justice Latinas face around the world, because it is possible that any woman anywhere could be discriminated against for wanting to control her own fertility and reproduction. If people continue to bring attention to this detrimental legislation and organize communities around these offenses against women, hopefully laws such as this one will be overturned soon.
By Robin Mangini, Research Intern