Target: Cristina Lizardo, President of the Senate of the Dominican Republic
Goal: Prevent the Dominican Republic from criminalizing abortion.
Proposed reforms to the Dominican Republic’s criminal code would impose tight restrictions on abortion access. Sign the petition and demand that Dominican legislators respect women’s reproductive rights.
The current version of the criminal code, adopted in 2014, allows for abortions under three circumstances: if carrying the pregnancy to term poses a serious health risk to the mother, if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or if the fetus cannot survive outside the womb. The proposed reforms would eliminate all but the first condition and would impose harsh penalties on both women and their doctors–two to three years of jail time for women, and four to ten years for doctors.
The United Nations has condemned the proposed reform, calling it “a clear regression in women’s and girls’ rights,” and experts are calling on the Dominican Republic to maintain the abortion laws set out in the 2014 Penal Code. Join your voice to theirs–sign the petition and stand up for the rights and health of women in the Dominican Republic.
Dear President Lizardo,
Women and girls everywhere should have the right to control their own reproductive health. Unfortunately, proposed reforms to the Penal Code would criminalize abortion except in very specific circumstances. I urge you to protect the health of women and girls by maintaining the current version of abortion regulations as they are outlined in the Penal Code.
The 2014 version of the law allows for abortion under three circumstances: in cases where the fetus would be unable to survive outside the womb, the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, or the health of the mother would be at risk if she carried the pregnancy to term. These regulations, although strict, at least allow for some extenuating circumstances, including trauma and the health (both mental and physical) of the woman. However, under the new law, women would only have access to abortions in instances where pregnancy and childbirth would pose a significant risk to their health. This policy fails to take mental health into account, and the emotional hardship involved in carrying a pregnancy to term after a rape or some other trauma is significant.
Women should have the right to make their own choices regarding what is best for their own bodies and health. I urge you to maintain the current regulations regarding abortion and reject the proposed reforms.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Justin Mier