New York Times Editorial: Nicaragua Bans Abortion Without Life & Health Exceptions
October 29, 2006
The rights and safety of Nicaragua’s women took a giant step backward last week when the country’s legislature passed a law criminalizing all abortions, with no exceptions. The previous law permitted an abortion if the mother’s life was in danger.
Latin America has the world’s strictest laws on abortion. But that does not discourage it. Latin America also has the world’s highest abortion rates, averaging nearly one per woman over the course of her reproductive lifetime.
Nicaragua’s ban, which passed 52 to 0, was a clear bid to curry support from the Catholic Church before next weekend’s presidential elections. Conservative parties were expected to vote for the legislation. But Daniel Ortega’s Sandinistas also backed it. Once the party of social revolution, the Sandinistas have become the party of political opportunism.
If Nicaraguans want to see the possible consequences of their new law, they can look next door to El Salvador, where all abortions have been banned since 1998. If doctors find evidence of an abortion, they are required to report their patients to the police. Women who sought medical help after a botched abortion have been handcuffed to their hospital beds. And some women with late-term abortions have been given 30-year prison terms.
The only good news out of Nicaragua is that legislators declined to take up a proposal that would drastically increase prison sentences for women who have abortions and people who perform them.
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COMMENT: This is what happens when Organized Superstition, Inc. has a stranglehold on the imaginations of the People Nicaraguan workers & peasants must liberate themselves from their mind-forged manacles & throw off Oppression in all its forms!