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Shocking abortion ban denies life-saving treatment to girls and women in Nicaragua

category international | gender and sexuality | other press author Wednesday July 29, 2009 11:02author by Hypatia Report this post to the editors

Amnesty reports on the situation in Nicaragua where pregnant women are being refused necessary medical treatment. This has led to an increase in maternal deaths. Full story at link.

Nicaragua’s total ban on abortions is endangering the lives of girls and women, denying them life-saving treatment, preventing health professionals from practicing effective medicine and contributing to an increase in maternal deaths across the country, concludes Amnesty International in a new report issues on Monday.

According to official figures, 33 girls and women have died in pregnancy this year as compared to 20 in the same period last year. Amnesty International believes these figures are only a minimum as the government itself has acknowledged that the number of maternal deaths is under-recorded.

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.

Amnesty International is urging the Nicaraguan authorities to:

Immediately repeal the law that bans all forms of abortion.

Guarantee safe and accessible abortion services for rape victims and women whose lives or health would be at risk from the continuation of pregnancy.

Protect the freedom of speech of those who speak out against the law and offer comprehensive support to the women and girls affected by the law.

Related Link: http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/shocking-abortion-ban-denies-life-saving-treatment-girls-women-nicaragua-20090727
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