MADRE News

Choose a news category:

UN Committee against Torture Calls for an End to Nicaragua's Life-Threatening Abortion Ban

Posted on: Wednesday, May 20, 2009

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

In a precedent-setting move, the United Nations Committee against Torture has called for Nicaragua to modify its abortion laws.  Since October 2006, Nicaragua has eliminated all exceptions to a ban on abortions, including procedures to save the life of the pregnant woman. 

MADRE applauds the Committee for recognizing that the law poses a serious risk to the human rights of women and girls and contravenes the Nicaraguan government's obligations under the Convention against Torture.

MADRE has joined with a coalition of US-based and Nicaraguan organizations to present this case before multiple UN treaty bodies.  In conjunction with the Committee against Torture's most recent session, this coalition submitted a report entitled "Report on Violations of Women's Human Rights to Therapeutic Abortion and Emergency Medical Care."

This report demonstrates that the law places life-saving treatment out of reach of women experiencing pregnancy complications or women who are survivors of rape or incest.  The law increases the number of women seeking unsafe abortion methods.  Furthermore, the report shows that doctors concerned about facing possible criminal charges are dissuaded from providing non-abortion medical treatments that may cause unintentional damage to the fetus.

Vivian Stromberg, Executive Director of MADRE and a signatory to the coalition's report, said today,
"This law presents a direct threat to women's lives, and we commend the Committee for taking a stand against it.  Nicaraguan women's human rights have been held hostage to this law, and the government must prioritize women's lives over ideology.  Otherwise, women will continue to experience the emotional and physical pain created by a denial of access to necessary medical treatment."

Available for comment:

Rhonda Copelon is an expert in reproductive rights and health, and a signatory to the "Report on Violations of Women's Human Rights to Therapeutic Abortion and Emergency Medical Care."  She has worked in the US and in the international arena as a professor of law and the co-director of the International Women's Human Rights Law Clinic at the City University of New York Law School.  Previously, she was a staff lawyer at the Center for Constitutional Rights.  She has published numerous texts in the field of reproductive and sexual rights and international women's human rights.

Vivian Stromberg
, MADRE Executive Director, is an educator and expert on gender, women's economic development, US foreign policy, human rights, sexual violence, and child development. She is the MADRE representative to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the United Nations and has participated in all of the major UN Conferences since 1992. Ms. Stromberg works in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and the Balkans, and has been an activist in the peace and social justice movements for over 45 years.


« Back to "Press Room" Next Article »



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


Archives

"Press Room" Home 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

Contact

Kat Noel, Website & Media Coordinator
PHONE: +1 212 627 0444
EMAIL: media@madre.org

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

Bring MADRE to You