Dear Nica Times:
As a Nicaraguan-based activist , I am deeply concerned about the recent decision by the legislature to end all abortions, including therapeutic ones, such as ectopic pregnancies.
It will criminalize the doctors who perform the operations. There is no medical approval of this in Nicaragua, but it was being pushed at election time by politicians of all parties who want the support of the Church.
This attack on women could be a precedent for other countries in Latin America and elsewhere. The most basic right of women, to control their own bodies, is under attack. The first death came Nov. 4:
An 18-year-old woman who was five months pregnant and her fetus died as she was shunted, bleeding and with fever, to three different hospitals out of fear of the law.
Since 1997, I have found funding for my Sister City, San Juan del Sur, for adult literacy programs for women (more than 300 graduates), and now find funding for a Free High School for Adults that has 557 students, more than 60% of women. The idea that these women, who now have exciting futures, are suddenly liable to die if they have problems in pregnancy. This is truly dreadful.
I want to ask everyone to write, on behalf of Nicaraguan women, to the relevant officials, asking them to rescind this dreadful measure. Letters can be sent by email.
I sent a letter like the one below to the President of the National Assembly, just days before the vote.
Please write to all three of the following legislators:
Sr. Eduardo Gómez, Presidente de la Asamblea Nacional: email@example.com
Rene Nuflez, Primer Vice-Presidente de la Asamblea Nacional: firstname.lastname@example.org
Noel Pereira, Presidente de la Comision de Justicia: email@example.com
Estimado Sr. :
Como persona que se preocupa por los derechos humanos, me ha alarmado el hecho de que Nicaragua ha cambiado su codigo penal para criminalizar el aborto terapeutico en el caso que este en peligro la vida o la salud de la mujer. Le insisto que vuelvan a pensar esta medida que viola los derechos humanos de la mujer, en especial el derecho a la vida, y el estado laico de Nicaragua.
Translation: As a person concerned about human rights, I am alarmed by the fact that Nicaragua has changed its penal code to criminalize therapeutic abortion, even in the case when the life or health of the woman is at risk. I ask you to rethink this measure that violates both the human rights of women, especially the right to life, and the lay status of the republic of Nicaragua.
San Juan del Sur