Choose a news category:

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights requires the Nicaraguan Government to adopt urgent measures to save the life of Amalia*

Posted on: Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Keywords: Reproductive Rights, Women's Health, Nicaragua, Latin America and Caribbean

This press release from Women's Link Worldwide refers to Nicaragua's denial of a therapeutic abortion for Amalia*, a 27-year-old cancer patient.

Bogotá, March 1, 2010 – On February 18, 2010, a group of Nicaraguan and international organizations, specifically, the Nicaraguan Center of Human Rights (CENIDH), the Gynecological and Obstetrics Society, the Association for the New Family (ANFAN), Women’s Link Worldwide, the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and IPAS Central America, requested the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to ask the State of Nicaragua to adopt urgent precautionary measures to protect the life of Amalia, a Nicaraguan 27-year-old woman, mother of a 10-year-old girl, and a cancer patient, who was refused a therapeutic abortion required to initiate chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.

Even though Amalia has expressed her will to have an abortion to be able to receive treatment, she has been hospitalized since February 2, 2010 in the State hospital of León , her birth city, without receiving any treatment on the part of the healthcare system.

The life-threatening risk Amalia has had to withstand during the past months evidences the adverse consequences women are forced to face when they experience pregnancies that pose a risk to their life and health, in contexts in which abortion is completely banned, as it is the case in Nicaragua .

Last Friday February 26th, the IACHR set a historic precedent for the region and the world by asking the government of Nicaragua:

1. To adopt the necessary measures to ensure that the petitioner has access to the medical treatment she requires to treat the metastatic cancer;

2. To adopt said measures in agreement with the petitioner and her representatives and

3. To reserve the identity of the petitioner and her family and to refer to her, simply as “Amalia”.

Additionally, the IACHR requested the government of Nicaragua to submit information about the compliance with the measures within five days of the notification of the decision and to periodically update it.

*The name has been changed to protect the identity of the petitioner.

About the Impact of the Measures

The precautionary measures granted by the Commission set a historic precedent because this is the first case that evidences the need for governments to recognize the right to access an abortion in extreme circumstances. The decision is issued at a moment in which several countries are discussing a complete ban to abortion, such as the Dominican Republic and Kenya.

On September 21, 2009, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in the case X and XX, in which a Colombian woman and her 14-year-old daughter, the latter of whom was raped and became pregnant, was denied access to a lawful abortion. The Commission asked the government to grant all physical and mental services that the girl needed as a consequence of a dangerous and forced pregnancy.

These two cases clearly show that the Commission understands and condemns the effects that the denial of an abortion may have on the rights to life, health and integrity of women in the region.

Attorney Mónica Roa, Programs Director at Women’s Link Worldwide, one of the organizations that requested the measures, stated: “the measures granted by the Commission are of great significance to Amalia and her family, to Nicaraguan women and to all women in the region because they reinforce the human rights arguments that advance the need to recognize abortion as part of women's human rights."

To read the full press release, click here or visit Women’s Link Worldwide.




« Back to "Press Room" Next Article »

Article Tools
Increase Font Decrease Font Reset Font Print Page Email Page


"Press Room" Home November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 July 2006 June 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 April 2005 March 2005 November 2004 October 2004 April 2004 March 2004 January 2004 December 2003 October 2003 September 2003 June 2003 April 2003 January 2003 September 2002 June 2002 January 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 January 2001


Kat Noel, Website & Media Coordinator
PHONE: +1 212 627 0444

To sign up to receive MADRE media alerts, click here.

Bring MADRE to You

MADRE & Our Partners Make News