· · · · · 

Radical Disregard for Life: The Criminalization of Abortion and the Death of a Young Girl in Kenya

The human rights community understands that criminal and other restrictions on abortion are unacceptable and reflect a radical disregard for women’s lives.

· · · · · 

Moving Backwards for Nicaraguan Women

Luisa Cabal is Director of the International Legal Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights.

On November 17, Nicaragua's congress passed a complete ban on abortion. The ban offers no exceptions for women's health, for victims of rape or incest – or even for women whose lives are at risk. By passing this outrageous ban, Nicaragua has joined the ranks of Chile and El Salvador, the only countries in the world to have imposed total abortion bans in the last 20 years.

This movement backwards comes at a time when Nicaragua already has an extremely high rate of maternal mortality, largely due to illegal and unsafe abortion. Yet, instead of acting to adopt measures that protect women, lawmakers have chosen to send the message that they don't care if women die. In Latin America and the Caribbean, 4,000 women die from unsafe abortions every year. In Nicaragua, where maternal death rates are among the highest in the region, unsafe abortions are responsible for 16% of all maternal deaths. Criminalizing abortion will not just increase maternal mortality and worsen the status of women's health – it will force women to carry their pregnancies to term in cases of, for example, anencephaly or ectopic pregnancy.

· · · · ·