by Steven Ertelt
July 26, 2007
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (LifeNews.com) — Abortion advocates are making the Dominican Republic their next target in an effort to topple pro-life laws featured in most nations in Latin America. After getting Mexico City to legalize abortions and fighting battles in nations such as Uruguay and Brazil, pro-abortion groups say the Caribbean country could be next.
Leading pro-abortion activist Sergia Galván appeared at a meeting of a special commission of the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday and claimed that 80,000 to 100,000 illegal abortions take place annually in the Dominican Republic.
Galván, who represents the pro-abortion group Collective Woman and Health, spoke during the legislative hearing on the nation’s penal code.
She said the topic of illegal abortions is more than just a controversial issue and claimed the nation has a public health problem.
"We have reiterated that the decision to not legalize abortion is counter-productive for the health of women, since it increases the causes of maternal mortality," Galván said, according to a Dominican Today report. She worried that "the practice of self-induced abortions or done by untrained people" is rising.
Catholic Church priests such as Miguel Ruiz, of the Pastoral Family and the Christian Lawyers Network, also appeared at the public hearing and opposed any efforts to legalize abortion.
Ruiz explained that making abortion legal in the Dominican Republic would violate the nation’s constitution and also violate international treaties the country has ratified.
Raimundo Rojas, the Hispanic outreach director for National Right to Life, told LifeNews.com that "Latin America continues to be under attack from pro-abortion forces who want to see the same type of abortion on demand for any reason in those countries as we have here in the United States."
Other pro-abortion groups participated in the public hearing including the Latin American Network and the Caribbean Health for Women, the CIPAF, Catholics for the Right to Decide, among others.
The hearing considered legislation that would penalize physicians who do abortions and those who assist them.