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Latin America’s draconian abortion laws and policies punish millions of women and girls

    May 28, 2015

    From a raped 10-year-old girl denied an abortion in Paraguay, to women imprisoned in El Salvador after having a miscarriage, millions of women and girls all over Latin America are suffering because of outdated and discriminatory abortion laws and policies, said Amnesty International.

    “Today, on the International Day of Action for Women’s Health, from the Caribbean to South America countless women and girls are suffering terribly from cruel and draconian laws and policies that violate their human right to make choices about their own bodies, health and lives,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “Sadly there is still a long way to go.  Earlier this week, Peru’s Justice Commission in Congress let rape victims down by passing up the chance to ensure women and girls that are victims of rape have the option to access safe and legal abortion services.

    “In Paraguay the future of a 10-year-old girl still hangs in the balance.

    “Every day women and girls are being compelled to continue with unwanted pregnancies, even if they have been raped, are carrying unviable foetuses or if their health or lives are at risk. It is time that all the governments in the region which are maintaining such cruel and outdated laws, acknowledge the suffering and horrific injustice they are inflicting on women and girls. Now is the time for them to commit to real change.”

    Amnesty International experts on Latin America are available for interview to talk about regional challenges and progress on women’s sexual and reproductive rights.

    Possible talking points include:

    -        Moves this week by Peru’s Congress Justice Commission to introduce legislation to decriminalize abortion in cases of rape

    -        The Paraguayan government’s failure to provide all medical options, including an abortion, to a raped 10-year-old girl

    -        The women and girls languishing in El Salvador’s prisons due to the country’s total ban of abortion

    -        Progress in Chile to widen access to abortion in certain cases

    -        Latest developments in the Dominican Republic

     

    For more information please contact: Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

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