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July 29, 2009

Morning Coffee: Nicaragua's shocking abortion ban

Nicaragua's new total abortion ban is killing women, according to a new report by Amnesty International. Nicaragua forbids abortions even to save the life of the mother.

In fact, the law makes it a crime to save the life of the mother using treatments that are contraindicated during pregnancy, like chemotherapy, anti-malarials, or drugs for HIV/AIDS. That proviso distills the woman-hating core of the anti-choice agenda. Proof positive that some people consider women as nothing more than incubators.

According to Amnesty, women are punished for miscarriages, even spontaneous ones, because doctors can't always tell the difference between a natural and an induced termination.

Over 30 pregnant women have died this year, up from 20 during the same period last year--and those are just the deaths the government is prepared to acknowledge. This is the first time Amnesty has written a report on the human rights implications of abortion regulations.

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Nicaragua's abortion ban is old news. It dates back to 2006 or 2007 - I remember blogging about it and reading other blog posts about how Ortega did a 180 from liberation theology to abortion bans.

--UN Dispatch --

Looks sharp, nicely organized, easy to find things.

You're part of them?

Yes, I write Morning Coffee for them every weekday.

For Christians, birth was a big selling point in Rome when they first appeared. The concept persists ideologically where peasant farming is still a big influence. Living in a city does not require a big family to get by. Hence abortion liberating women, outweighs the pressures for survival farming standards. Living on a farm often requires many children as a sort of tied down labor force. Ortega pioneered the Latin American sort of cross bred liberation movement. My question to you Lindsey is how to deal with peasants who are in the pockets of the Catholic Church? There are antecedents in Latin America like the Mexican revolution in which the priesthood was knocked off it's ideological influences. How does one confront an Ortega whose sometimes progressive methods conflict with this stance?

Doyle, the analysis I read about the abortion ban is that it was not about peasants in the pocket of the church, but about Daniel Ortega's growing corruption. Once he became just another politician, banning abortion as a way of currying favor with the church was just one more way of getting power.

I imagine that the Christian Right in the US is salivating over Nicaragua's rules, since they are exactly what they want for women in the U.S. For these woman-hating assholes, no woman is good unless she's pregnant, being forced to give birth, or dead.

Looks like it's about time to start boycotting Nicaraguan coffee.

Dejah, you're about three years late with the boycott.

Alon, sorry for the delayed response I don't usually read this blog on the weekends. I've seen the allegations before against Ortega about sex abuse. That's a criminal matter apart from the question of abortion rights. I don't see conflating the two together the way you do. The Catholic church is the main source of anti-abortion political activity in the region and represents peasant interests as a form of the church's power base. The question is still legitimate to ask how does one address these issues?

Womens' rights are not just a single issue about abortion also. I write that because you can't build a movement off single issues. Nor can one use corruption as a personal problem of one man Ortega, to address a society. One confronts the Catholic Church as an institution in my view.

The way I understand Liza's post, the point of the sex abuse is that Ortega was never concerned about women's rights, so once he didn't need women's rights groups to gain power, he became pro-life in order to get support from the church against the liberals, who opposed the abortion ban.

I don't want to make any more comments because I'm literally just paraphrasing Liza at this stage, but her article's tone suggests to me that it really is not an issue of a whole society, but just dirty politics at the top. To add things Liza doesn't say, the same abortion politics was part of the reforms of Chavez and Morales. At one point Morales' rewrite of the Bolivian constitution included a ban on abortion, though Bolivian politics played out in such a way that the final version omitted the ban.

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