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Dominican Lawmakers Move Forward on Decriminalizing Abortion in Some Cases

Dominican Lawmakers Move Forward on Decriminalizing Abortion in Some Cases

December 19, 2014 — Lawmakers in the Dominican Republic's Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday approved a bill that would decriminalize abortion in limited circumstances, Dominican Today reports (Dominican Today, 12/16).

The bill would permit abortion to save a woman's life, according to the AP/Yahoo! News. Abortion is currently illegal in all circumstances in the Dominican Republic.

In addition, Chamber of Deputies President Abel Martinez has promised that lawmakers will introduce a second bill that would decriminalize abortion in instances of rape, incest or fetal anomalies.

President Calls for Fewer Abortion Restrictions

Two weeks ago, President Danilo Medina urged lawmakers to decriminalize abortion in cases of life endangerment, rape, incest and fetal anomalies (AP/Yahoo! News, 12/16). Medina previously vetoed a bill that would have reinforced the criminalization of abortion in all circumstances (Dominican Today, 12/18).

The Senate is also expected to consider measures related to decriminalizing abortion in the coming weeks, according to the AP/Yahoo News! (AP/Yahoo! News, 12/16).

The proposals also face heavy resistance from the influential Catholic Church. The church has launched a nationwide campaign to maintain the criminalization of abortion.

According to a presidential administrative minister, 85.7% of the public support Medina's position (Dominican Today, 12/16).