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Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo

INTEC Gender Center demands to decriminalize three causes of abortion in the Penal Code

During a virtual press conference, held for International Women's Day, the CEG-INTEC emphasized that the non-inclusion of these defenses is a violation of the obligation to fulfill its responsibility as a State.

INTEC Gender Center demands to decriminalize three causes of abortion in the Penal Code

SANTO DOMINGO. –The Center for Gender Studies of the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (CEG-INTEC) demanded that the National Congress Commission that studies the Penal Code expressly include the three grounds of defense of criminal responsibility for abortion: when the life of the mother is in danger, the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest and the product of the pregnancy has a congenital malformation incompatible with life. 

Fátima Lorenzo, coordinator of the CEG-INTEC, highlighted that the discussion on the inclusion of the three causes of abortion in the Penal Code is part of a broad context of citizen demands for rights recognized in the current Constitutional text, which have been deliberately denied in the last 20 years to the Dominicans.  

During a virtual press conference, held for International Women's Day, Lorenzo pondered that awareness should be raised of the effects on mental health that blame and stigmatization create in women who abort. In addition, he called for offering emotional care services, free from prejudices and conservative stereotypes, and costs. 

"We require the State to comply with the commitments made in the area of ​​women's human rights, through the agreements signed in the Sustainable Development Agenda and the agreements in the global and regional system and in the National Development Strategy," he stressed. . 

Lorenzo requested that regulations be established by the Ministry of Public Health to guarantee access to abortion interruption in the three causes. "The decriminalization of abortion in its three causes is an opportunity to overcome the worrying and persistent maternal mortality statistics," he said. 

In the analysis document “Three Causes in the Penal Code: vaccinating the virus of indifference and ambivalence towards women's rights”, Issued by the CEG-INTEC, it is established that the penalty without exceptions is an important barrier for women. In the case of the Dominican Republic, abortion is the fourth cause of maternal death in the country and the Ministry of Public Health indicates that 22% of abortion interventions are performed on adolescents. 

“It is necessary for the educational system to incorporate comprehensive sexuality education at all levels of education, to ensure that the competencies for the development of the integral human being in all spheres can be achieved at the pre-university level, and avoid both the number of abuses sexual acts such as sexual initiation without adequate information ”, highlights the document. 

The CEG-INTEC proposes as necessary the abortion service in healthy conditions, with the proper information on access to the necessary medical assistance, humanized post-abortion care with quality and warmth. 

Likewise, Desiree del Rosario, academic coordinator of CEG_INTEC, calls for the coherence of the public powers in assessing the lives of Dominican women who have the same right to protection regardless of their social class. "That the Legislative Chambers develop constructive dialogues that address the non-criminalization of abortion, encouraging them to take into account the opinions of those who have reproductive capacity, but are absent in the analyzes that are developed in the country." 

In addition, that the exercise of citizenship considers the bodies, autonomy and decision of women, who have the moral authority to decide regarding their reproductive capacity.  

The document warns that the process of struggle for the three causes of abortion, promoted by civil society organizations and feminist organizations, is opposed by conservative religious sectors, which pressure the legislative processes, hindering the recognition of women as full subjects. and total citizens. 

In the same way, they affirm that the establishment of a secular State as a guarantee of not imposing dogmatic or alleged conscientious objection in public abortion services. 

Lorenzo reminded the Dominican Revolutionary Party-PRM, which is in power and has a majority in the legislative chambers, that, in the Resolution of the nineteenth Ordinary Session of its Executive Directorate, of July 26, 2016, was approved to support the three causes and, in addition, emphasized that it is contained in the Government Program presented by this party in the electoral campaign.  


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