Press Releases

Legal Challenges to Nicaragua's Proposed Abortion Ban

Breaking News

On October 26, 2006, the Nicaraguan Congress voted to ban ALL abortions, even those that could save the life of a woman. The Nicaraguan Congress passed the bill and President Enrique Bolaños is expected to sign it into law in order for the ban to take effect. Prison terms for seeking an abortion, or assisting a woman seeking one, can be up to 6 years. The Nicaraguan abortion ban if signed into law will have reverberating effects on Latinas’ access to reproductive healthcare here in the U.S. Why? Because we understand that it is these very obstacles that influence Latina immigrants’ perception of reproductive healthcare in the US which impede their access to the available services here.

Already a Nicaraguan woman died from complications of her pregnancy when hospital doctors failed to provide a therapeutic abortion for fear of being prosecuted under the abortion ban, and this occurred before the ban has even officially taken effect.

Legal Challenges

Various human rights groups will challenge the ban in court if President Bolaños signs it into law, stating that it violates a range of constitutional guarantees including the rights to life and equality for women.

Those who oppose the ban may seek a legal injunction against the ban before the Nicaraguan Supreme Court, based on constitutional and medical arguments. In the meanwhile, they are monitoring women who may need therapeutic abortions in order to develop a case to be presented to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington D.C.