Nicaragua Legislators Fail Third Attempt to Legalize Some Abortions

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 15, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Nicaragua Legislators Fail Third Attempt to Legalize Some Abortions

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 15,

Managua, Nicaragua ( — Lawmakers in the Nicaragua Congress failed a third attempt to change the nation’s law on abortion. The Latin American country currently prohibits all abortions and the legislators have been trying to change that to allow abortions in the very rare instances where the pregnancy directly threatens the life of the mother.

Nicaragua’s National Assembly rejected an amendment from the Sandinista Renewal Movement to the country’s penal code to allow the limited number of abortions.

They rejected the amendment on a lopsided vote and prevented any further attempt from changing the total abortion ban the country put in place in 2006.

Under the law, anyone who does an abortion or has one could be sent to prison for up to three years. It differs from American proposals to prohibit abortions in that American laws regard the woman as a second victim and only include jail time for the abortion practitioner.

The Nicaraguan daily newspaper La Gaceta says the abortion law and the three year prison term goes into effect two months after the newspaper publishes the content of it for the public to see.

Carlos Polo, director for Latin America of the Population Research Institute, talked with the Catholic News Agency about the vote.

“The international abortion lobby has lost an important battle despite all the pressure," he said. "This was the third and last attempt within the Penal Code to introduce a measure that would protect abortion. The two previous attempts ended with an overwhelming vote against abortion.”

“This has been a long pro-life battle,” Polo continued. “To these three attempts we must add the anti-life campaign lasting more than a year and lawsuits before the Supreme Court challenging its constitutionality were unsuccessful.”

Though pro-abortion groups claim women are dying from the abortion law, Polo says government health figures show the opposite. has interviewed one prominent Hispanic pro-life leader who says pro-abortion groups routinely mislead both Nicaraguans and Americans about the state of abortion there.