The Impact of Nicaragua’s Abortion Ban

Nicaragua’s abortion ban has had a devastating impact on women’s lives and health. In November 2006, the Nicaraguan government eliminated the exception that permitted an abortion if three doctors certified that a woman’s life or health was at risk.

A new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), “Over Their Dead Bodies,” documents how the ban on abortion has made women afraid to seek even legal health care services. Fearing prosecution under the new law, doctors are unwilling to provide necessary care.

In Nicaragua, both women who obtain abortion care and abortion providers can face four to eight years in prison.

According to HRW, Nicaragua is one of only three countries in the world to maintain a blanket ban on abortion, even in cases of rape, incest, or life or health-threatening pregnancies.

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