According to a report today from Feministing, Amnesty International has started a campaign to repeal the anti-abortion laws in Nicaragua, which were enacted one year ago—laws that ban abortion in every single case, regardless of the state of the mother or the fetus’s health, mandating prison sentences for women who request them and doctors who perform them. According to their Web site, conditions for women in the Central American country are dire.
“The new Code introduces criminal sanctions for doctors and nurses who treat a pregnant woman or girl for illnesses such as cancer, malaria, HIV/AIDS or cardiac emergencies where such treatment is contraindicated in pregnancy and may cause injury to or death of the embryo or foetus.
It even goes as far as punishing girls and women who have suffered a miscarriage, as in many cases it is impossible to distinguish spontaneous from induced abortions.”
In a video produced by the international NGO, interviewed doctors explained just how difficult it is to treat women with endangered pregnancies: if they perform the operation for any reason at all, they can be prosecuted. If they don’t act, and the woman and fetus both end up dying, they can be taken to court by the family of the victim.
Not an easy choice.