Via Nuestra Vida, Nuestra Voz, I learned that the Dominican Republic is considering a change to the constitution that would define life as beginning at conception.

For those who don't know, abortion is currently illegal in D.R. and has been for quite some time. A couple of years ago, some movements were made in trying to change that, but this change is slow-moving. So slow, in fact, that the personhood at conception thing has been able to pick up speed rather quickly. I suppose it helps that it's being proposed by the President, Leonel Fernandez.

Oh, and it also doesn't hurt that the anti-choice/pro-life movement in D.R. is being supported by at least three U.S. groups.* (Hmm... I wonder if those groups are from North Dakota.)

So what does this mean, exactly? Well, it means that in addition to halting any plans to legalizing abortion - even if only in the case of rape and incest, which is currently illegal - it would also prevent access to birth control and other forms of family planning. Family planning and reproductive health is already an issue around the world, so the goal should be more access to these services, not less.

International Women's Health Coalition is asking us to take action.

Please take two actions today to support Dominican women as they fight to retain access to the sexual and reproductive health care they need and want:
(1) Sign a petition, asking the Senate President Reinaldo Pared PĂ©rez and President of the House of Representatives Julio Cesar Valentin Jiminian to stand strong for women’s rights, and
(2) Send a letter to the Presidents of the Senate and House to express your concern women’s rights are being eroded in the Constitutional reform process and demand that they stand up for women’s rights and health. Read a sample letter, Spanish language only, here.
Please take some time out to take action against this change. I don't know how effective this all will be, but it doesn't hurt any of us to try. If the anti-choice/pro-life movement in D.R. is being backed by anti-choicers in the U.S., then isn't it our duty to back the pro-choice/pro-life movement? I certainly think so.

*By the way, did anybody notice the last sentence in this link: "In an ironic move, the Dominican Republic's Legislative Committee assigned to oversee the new Constitution will meet on January 22, the day Americans mourn the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision." (emphasis mine)
Yes, I don't know about you, but I mourn that sad decision every day! Damn those women and their lady parts and complicated reproductive health needs!!


At Wed Apr 22, 10:22:00 AM Enfática said...

UGGHHHH this is horrible. Again thank you US for not minding your business!
This is not that surprising. When I went this summer to DR, there was a huge surge in Christian radio stations and small mom and pop Christian churches. The whole country is having a revival, a pretty scary one.

At Wed Apr 22, 01:53:00 PM frau sally benz said...

You're right, unfortunately this is not really that surprising. When you think about how conservative a lot of Dominicans are (in D.R. and in the states), it's a wonder that pro-choice activists even exist there. But we must do our part!!

At Sun Apr 26, 09:06:00 PM Anonymous said...

On April 23, 2009 the Dominican Republic was urged by its President Leonel Fernandez to consider the matter of ending the death penalty for un-born children in that country. In a remarkable vote the lawmakers put down abortion’s blood drain by a whopping 167 to 32.”

In the unlikely event the Lap Dog Media in the USA reports on this story, the headline and accompanying fantasy will read something like this:

In an evenly divided, but hotly contested debate over reproductive rights, the pro-choice legislators lost an extremely close vote to keep abortion safe and legal. Only a fraction of the anti-choice legislators voted to return the Dominican Republic to the dark days of rusty coat hangers and back alley butchers preying on helpless women.

Some mainstream Dominican Republic organizations are alleging irregularities in the tabulating process and are appealing the result to the Supreme Court.

Women’s rights groups are alleging a clear violation of church and state and are accusing conservative Christians and right wing extremists of the coercion and intimidation of pro-choice legislators who capitulated to pressure to subordinate women’s lives and health to religious dogma.

Matadora de Bebes, spokewoman for The Dominican Abortion Movement Network and Eugenics Defense (DAMNED), urged feministas everywhere to stand in solidarity with their oppressed sisters in the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic Union of Non-religious Knowledge and Socialism (DRUNKS) has issued an urgent appeal to freedom loving people everywhere to send rusty coat hangers to the members of the legislature.

Dominicans Requesting International Protection Soon (DRIPS) are appealing to the United Nations Security Council to immediately send troops to restore the rule of law.

Hospitals across the country are preparing for an epidemic of biblical proportions as post abortive women, diseased and dying from back alley abortions, flood emergency rooms in astronomical numbers.

In a related story public health officials are at a complete loss to explain the exodus of reproductive health care professionals and, at the same time, an entirely unanticipated rise in the quality and quantity of health care available to pregnant women and children.

Justice anywhere is a threat to injustive everywhere.

The truth is a majority of ONE.

yor bro ken

At Sun Aug 16, 10:25:00 PM arnold said...

This is HORRIBLE!!!

At Thu May 17, 03:35:00 AM Famous Women in Business said...

This is a responsibility of the government to take care its women. Women is essential and they should not be taken for granted. Start to move like talking to a private office like UN to address the concern.


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