Anti-Abortion Law Kills Dominican Teenager
The Dominican Republic’s constitution holds that the right to life begins at conception. Last week, that law caused the death of a teenager in the
according to CBS News:
Dr. Antonio Cabrera, the legal representative for Semma Hospital in Santo Domingo, told CNN that the 16-year-old teenager died from complications from
acute leukemia. She is not being named for privacy reasons.
The girl—nicknamed Esperanza by the local media—was nine weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed with the disease, CNN reported. Unfortunately, the
life-saving chemotherapy she needed would kill the fetus—which was a violation of anti-abortion law Article 37 of the Dominican Republic constitution.
Doctors withheld chemotherapy for about 20 days, following the law, before the government intervened. By then, the cancer had ravaged her body and it was
This senseless death is emblematic of the many problems that are a consequence of bestowing legal rights on a fetus. Women’s lives are endangered, and
family planning is completely undermined because many forms of contraception and in vitro fertilization are made illegal. And personhood initiatives in the
U.S., which have so far been unsuccessful, would result in the same violations of a woman’s reproductive rights and her right to life.