On Wednesday, feminist organizations in the Dominican Republic took to the streets of Santo Domingo to protest against the attitude adopted by the Senate, which did not remove the criminalization of abortion from the Penal Code bill.
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"Its decision will not reduce clandestine and insecure abortions in our country. It will cause more disease and deaths of women who practice them as their only alternative," the Magaly Pineda Feminist Forum stressed.
Previously, gender activists demanded the Senate decriminalized pregnancy interruptions in case of rape, risk on the mother’s life, or life-threatening malformation on the fetus
On June 30, the previous Lower House approved a Penal Code bill in which abortion performed when the mother's life is at risk was not subject to legal sanctions. Given that the Senate did not ratify this bill due to "a lack of quorum," the members of the new Lower House will have to debate this issue once again and from the beginning.
"Although the Dominican people overwhelmingly support abortion as a women's right, senators continue to deny this right due to their conservative positions," activist Susi Pola stated.
Approved in 1884, the current Dominican Penal Code establishes penalties for women who abort as harsh as those established for rapists. Both facts, however, are not comparable.
"The women and medical personnel involved in pregnancy interruption can face two years in prison. Meanwhile, a person who commits a felony will only be sentenced to one to 4 years in prison," Pola recalled and urged Congress to renew the legislation because human rights are progressive.