Jesurgislac’s Journal

April 26, 2009

Dominican Republic passes constitutional amendment against women

This amendment is billed by the Catholic News Agency as a “pro-life triumph”, in the odd kind of way the Catholic Church regards “life” as not including women. (Or girls. Catholic doctrine, if you recall, is that an 11-year-old girl made pregnant by rape who will die from a ruptured uterus if the pregnancy is allowed to continue to develop, ought to be let die by this natural course: her mother was excommunicated for saving her daughters life by authorising an abortion.)

This new amendment says that when a woman is dying of an ectopic pregnancy, or eclampsia, or any of the other causes of maternal mortality or morbidity, the law of the Dominican Republic is that the doctors must let the woman die.

The fetus she is carrying will die too, but for all the talk of how “life” must be protected, the fact is: these people do not care if women die, or fetuses die, or babies die. They care only about forced pregnancy. This amendment makes forced pregnancy the law of the land in the Dominican Republic, and as a direct result, more women will die.

Some forced pregnancies may be brought to term. The government of the Dominican Republic does not appear to have considered how to care for the unwanted babies and the orphans who lose their mothers – there is insufficient provision made already for the street children who have no families at all. Even the detention centers are not safe places. But then, caring for children once they’re born isn’t as important as forcing a woman through pregnancy and childbirth against her will.

Amnesty International has more.

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