MADRE Statements

MADRE Fights for Reproductive Choice at the UN Human Rights Council

Posted on: Thursday, June 10, 2010

Keywords: UN, Human Rights Advocacy, Nicaragua, Women's Health, Reproductive Rights

On June 9, 2010, MADRE lent a hand to Nicaraguan women's rights activist Azahalea Solis Roman, who testified before the UN Human Rights Council against her country's ban on therapeutic abortions.

About the Ban

In 2006, Nicaragua's National Assembly voted to ban all therapeutic abortions, even in cases of rape, incest or danger to a woman's life.

The law denies life-saving treatment to women and has greatly increased the number of women seeking unsafe, illegal abortions. Doctors concerned about facing possible criminal charges are dissuaded from providing non-abortion medical treatments that may cause unintentional damage to the fetus.

Since the ban, MADRE has been part of a coalition of US-based and Nicaraguan organizations that prepared an international legal challenge to Nicaragua's abortion ban. As a result of this challenge, the government of Nicaragua was asked by the UN Committee Against Torture, the UN Human Rights Council, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to review the law banning abortion and decriminalize therapeutic abortions. Nicaragua has so far failed to comply with this demand. MADRE is determined to keep up the pressure until Nicaragua respects women's reproductive rights.

Watch the video of Azahalea's testimony (in English below, or in Spanish):


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Kat Noel, Website & Media Coordinator
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