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News > Dominican Republic

46% of Dominican Women Do Not Have Access to Contraceptives

  • Dominican women demand the decriminalization of abortion.

    Dominican women demand the decriminalization of abortion. | Photo: Twitter/ @800Noticias_

Published 24 April 2023

The UNFPA report also showed that about 84 percent of the pregnancies registered between 2015 and 2019 among women aged 15 to 49 were unintended. 

On Sunday, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) published the State of World Population 2023, a report showing that 46 percent of women in the Dominican Republic do not have access to contraceptives, and 23 percent of the feminine population of this country cannot make any decision about their sexual and reproductive health.


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About 84 percent of the pregnancies registered between 2015 and 2019 among women aged 15 to 49 in this country were unintended, and the national adolescent fertility rate has risen to about 94,3 live births per 1000 women.

The UNFPA stressed that the maternal mortality rate in the Dominican Republic is 107 per 100,000 live births, a figure that exceeds the same rate in the Latin American region, which registered 88 deaths of mothers per the same amount of live births.

Sterilization has been the most used contraceptive method in the country. About 30.5 percent of married women of reproductive age used this method in 2019. However, most of them did not know that this procedure was irreversible.

The Dominican Republic ranks second in the list of nations with the highest number of women who have been sterilized without consent. Dominican laws also keep a total ban on the interruption of pregnancies.

“In our country, women are not able to decide on their bodies when their life or dignity is in danger. There is no comprehensive sexual education at schools nor a support system for women who were raped,” said Syra Tavera, the director of the Center for Research for Feminist Action (CIPAF).

In February, the Dominican senate rejected a bill that proposed to legalize abortion when the woman’s life or health is in danger, when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or when it is not possible for the baby to survive outside the womb.

“It is impressive how politicians keep playing with women’s rights,” Tavera stressed, recalling that the Senate rejected such a bill even though about 79 percent of the population agreed that abortions should be legal on the three grounds proposed.



Syra Tavera
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