A girl of 16 in the Dominican Republic is in the hospital with acute leukemia. She can’t get life-saving chemotherapy because she’s ten weeks pregnant.
Following a change to the constitution in 2010, abortion in the Dominican Republic is banned under any circumstances, even when the mother’s health or life is in danger.
But wait, you say, chemotherapy is not an abortion. Ah no, but that doesn’t matter, Rafael Romo reports for CNN.
…treatment would very likely terminate the pregnancy, a violation of Dominican anti-abortion laws.
So Dominican “anti-abortion” laws cover even life-saving medical treatment that would very likely end the pregnancy? That’s quite an anti-abortion law.
Miguel Montalvo, the director of the bioethics council that rules on the application of the law, says the council is leaning toward allowing the treatment. “At the end of the day the patient may decide for himself or herself. In this case, the family may decide what’s more convenient for the patient,” Montalvo said.
Women’s and human rights groups are outraged, saying the girl should have received chemotherapy immediately.
Lilliam Fondeur, a women’s rights activist, complains that conservative politics is preventing necessary treatment to save the teenager’s life.
“How can it be possible that so much time is being wasted? That the treatment hasn’t begun yet because they’re still meeting, trying to decide if she has the right to receive the treatment to save her life — that’s unacceptable,” Fondeur said.
It is, isn’t it.”Leaning toward”? Hurry the fuck up! “At the end of the day”? At the end of what day? Hurry up! It’s so attractive, all this calm leisured chat while a teenager is deathly ill.
And while the debate rages on around the country, back at the hospital the clock keeps ticking for the 16-year-old pregnant girl.
Oh never mind her, let’s just have some more reasoned discussion.