October 3, 2007

Nicaragua's Shame

Ugh. This is just sad--and sick. (Swiped from Feministing.)

Over Their Dead Bodies

This is a very well-written (and quite chilling) report on the results of Nicaragua's total abortion ban. From the introduction:

Nicaragua is one of only three countries in the world to maintain a blanket ban on abortion, even in cases of rape, incest, or life- or health-threatening pregnancies.1Such blanket abortion bans are incompatible with international human rights obligations, including obligations on the rights to life, health, and non-discrimination. Their imposition can, and most often does, have serious effects on the lives and health of women and girls.

Nicaragua’s blanket ban on abortion was initially enacted in November 2006 and reaffirmed in September 2007, and includes a ban on previously-legal therapeutic abortions.2It allows for prison sentences for doctors who carry out abortions under any circumstances—even to save a pregnant woman’s life—and on women who seek abortions, again, regardless of the reason. Although it appears that actual prosecutions are rare, the ban has very real consequences that fall into three main categories:

  1. Denial of access to life- or health-saving abortion services;
  2. Denial or delay in access to other obstetric emergency care; and
  3. A pronounced fear of seeking treatment for obstetric emergencies.

The net result has been avoidable deaths.

From this article about who was behind the ban:

An outright ban on abortion in Nicaragua has caused the deaths of at least 80 women since it was imposed 11 months ago, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday.


Under the law, pushed by the previous conservative government and Nicaragua's powerful Roman Catholic Church, women who abort or doctors who help them risk three years or more in prison.


The law's timing was seen as central to its success, as left-wing lawmakers reluctantly supported it to help Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega get the Church's backing to sweep back to power.

Folks, this is what happens when Christians--or rather, those who claim to be Christian--stick their noses into politics.

Catholic rules are just fine for Catholics--i.e., those who agree to abide by them. They do not work for anyone else. (They wouldn't work for me either, because the Bible says nothing about birth control--that is strictly a church invention, and has nothing to do with Christ. Frankly, the Catholic Church has nothing to do with Christ, but that's a rant for another time.) I know I've put some people's noses out of joint by stressing "rights" over "poverty," as if the latter is the only possible reason women have abortions. It is not.

In any case, it's irrelevant, because the bottom line is this: Should women have autonomy over their own bodies and lives or not?

If the answer is yes, then it doesn't matter why women get abortions, only that they have that right. If you want to work to further the cause of sex education and birth control, along with eliminating poverty, then have at it. In the long run, giving women more control over their own lives and more choices can only be a good thing. If abortion rates fall, that would be wonderful as well. Especially if they should fall not because of ridiculous, counterproductive, blasphemous religion-induced laws, but because women A) prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place and B) are better equipped to deal with unwanted pregnancies should they occur.

I for one am not going to get involved with anything that has the possible consequences of killing women. Neither should any "Christian" church. If vengeance and punishment are to be meted out, that is God's right and responsibility alone, not any male-dominated religion.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Ahhh. I see. It is all starting to make sense now: You're a fundamentalist. Have fun with that. I'm out of here.