Nicaragua Seeks to Ban Abortion

I’m a few days behind the curve, but Nicaragua’s trying to pass a law banning abortion even when the woman’s life is in danger. Right now the country bans abortion with exceptions for maternal life, which violates the Catholic Church’s doctrine that fetuses are more important than born people. Says the Beeb,

[Link] Nicaragua’s parliament has moved closer to reforming the penal code to extend the ban on abortions to include cases where the mother’s life is at risk.

The reform has been put before its judicial commission, which has 10 days to decide on whether it should be voted on by a full session of the assembly.


In 2003, the public prosecutor’s office in Nicaragua ruled that an abortion carried out on a nine-year-old girl who had been raped was legal, as it had been done in order to save her life.

However, if a proposal put before the parliament’s judicial committee becomes law, the doctors that carried out that abortion could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.

Maybe I’m parsing this wrong, but not only is the Catholic Church trying to get abortion banned, but also it tries to get it banned ex post facto. This is too reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale, where even having performed abortions before the revolution can get doctors hanged.

What is especially interesting is that the Sandinistas support the ban, while the Liberals oppose it. Of course from my point of view the normal order of things is that the leftists support greater bodily autonomy, unless they’re Marxists (which the Sandinistas aren’t). But in Latin America the liberals have always been at the forefront of anti-clericalism, so in a way it makes sense if they’re more pro-choice than the socialists.


6 Responses to Nicaragua Seeks to Ban Abortion

  1. profacero says:

    Wild and very interesting about Sandinista psition on this.

  2. Freidell says:

    The Sandinista party now belongs to Daniel Ortega, his family and partisans . Sandinista followers like me, my mom (who was a guerillera) and many Nicaraguan people are opossed to this new action, but the meaning of “therapeutic abortion ” has been distorted, missinforming the population, who is very conservative and, in a very big percentage, illiterate . Daniel and his people, who have taken over the party, does this because the Catolic church has a lot of power here, they have power in the electoral institution and right now we are on elections. The Penal Code reform was made in record time without consulting anybody, the current president sent his “emergency” law reform faster than you can say it.
    I´m upset, angry, sad and disapointed, eventhough, this situation is not new.
    PD: Sorry about my english I learned it on TV 🙂

  3. Freidell says:

    another information:

    the president ask for 30 years of prison to every woman to abort, the church suport him. You now, rapist just have 12 years of prison max.

  4. roula says:

    speaking of rapists
    did you know that the original case which sent the country into a huge debate over the life-of-the-mother “loophole” was of a child, a twelve-year-old girl, who’d been raped by a man in his twenties? the church was willing to condemn the girl to death if it had to, and this new law does the same to others (under threat of a jail sentence for the woman and her family and her doctor), but the rapist… eh.

    and speaking of shameless blog-whoring
    i wrote a couple posts on nicaragua/abortion/lefty-sellouts in the past month. reading about it again now, at pandagon, has me half trying to write another one and half overwhelmed with anger. but yeah.

  5. Alon Levy says:

    I think I read about it once – I’m not sure where. I was sure I’d posted about it back when it happened, but I’ve just checked and the case I posted about was about an 11-year-old girl in Colombia, not a 12-year-old one in Nicaragua.

  6. roula says:

    afks. you know what. she wasn’t 12, she was 9. nine.

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