I wanted to write a more thorough follow-up post about the Dominican Republic's recent right-to-life change in their constitution, but I have zero time, so I'll just post some links and info for now:
I learned from Dacia over at Akimbo (the blog for International Women's Health Collective) that there is a protest today, May 6, in D.R. and these groups are asking us to support them by putting pressure on the Dominican Republic Embassy:
In light of this serious situation, Colectiva is requesting support and a show of solidarity on May 6. Please write to the Dominican Republic embassy in your country and let them know that women’s health and rights will be compromised if the language of Article 30 is approved as it is now written.
For the D.R. embassy in the U.S., email firstname.lastname@example.org. For those not in the U.S., you can search for "Dominican Republic embassy in [insert name of your country here]" to find the appropriate email address. I've searched for Canada and the U.K. because I have a lot of readers there:
In Canada, email email@example.com and copy firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the U.K. (and Australia apparently??), email email@example.com.
You can read more about this current action over at Akimbo, and here is the sample letter they have posted there:
Dear Mr. President of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Leonel Fernández Reyna; Mr. President of the Parliamentary Assembly for Constitutional Review, Senator Reynaldo Pared Pérez; Mr. Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly for Constitutional Review, Deputy Julio César Valentín:
On April 21, 2009, Article 30, which amends the current Constitution of the Dominican Republic by establishing the right to life “from conception to death,” was approved under pressure and threats from the Catholic hierarchy and right-wing extremists.
This article will severely and negatively impact public policies, medical practice, scientific development and women’s lives, especially poor women. It also violates international agreements signed and ratified by the Dominican Republic, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
Article 30 limits women’s autonomy, and denies them their human rights. In light of the significant step backwards that the approval of Article 30 would represent for the human rights of Dominican women, I ask that during the second reading, when Article 30 must be discussed and is once again subject to approval, you reject the proposed language and maintain the current language of the Constitution.
TAKE ACTION NOW! We need to support our colleagues around the world whenever they need our help. A few minutes of your time is all you need to give.