Nicaragua to ban abortion

Supporter: Ortega

The Nicaraguan government is threatening a complete ban on abortion, including in the case of rape and if the mother's life is threatened.

Nicaragua's parliament is moving toward a complete ban on abortions, with a proposed reform bill currently being discussed by the judicial commission. The proposed change to the law stems from a controversial case in 2003, when the Public Prosecutor ruled than an abortion carried out on a 9 year old girl was legal, as it was carried out to save the mother's life.

In the proposed reform bill, the doctors that carried out that operation would have been liable for 30 years imprisonment. The bill has support from powerful church groups, both Catholic and evangelical, as well as from prominent political parties. Notably, Daniel Ortega, former President and upcoming candidate for the leftist Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN), has backed the reform, calling for the political process to be sped up. The president of the National Assembly, Sandinista René Núñez, told church leaders, “We join with you, with the bishops of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua and with the pastors of the evangelical churches, to seek the quickest path so that the current Penal Code will be reformed.”

Thousands attended a pro-reform march, with a counter rally by women's rights groups snubbed by members of the Assembly. Activists had staged a sit-down protests against the proposed reform on October 10th, outside the Assembly building.

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Oct 13 2006 15:18

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