Honduras was already considered one of few nations worldwide with a whole ban on abortion, which means the operation cannot be carried out even in circumstances of rape or incest, when the fetus is gravely deformed, and if the being pregnant endangers the mom’s life. The use, sale, distribution and buy of emergency contraception can be prohibited.
The new reform, often known as “Shield Against Abortion in Honduras” and promoted by Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez’s ruling National Party, additionally now creates a authorized “shield” towards future adjustments to the ban.
The adjustments elevate the Congressional voting threshold to change abortion regulation from two-thirds majority to three-quarters. Since Honduras’s unicameral Congress has 128 deputies, the brand new guidelines would require no less than 96 to vote for future adjustments to those articles — an unlikely state of affairs for the time being, since 86 voted for the amendments.
The reform additionally blocks any future makes an attempt to repeal or modify the change. “Legal provisions created after the effective date of this Article that establish otherwise, will be null and void,” states the ruling from the Congressional fee appointed to the matter.
Women’s rights advocates have fiercely condemned the change. Merly Eguigure, an activist with the Honduran rights group Movimiento de Mujeres por La Paz “Visitación Padilla” informed CNN it will solely reinforce harmful circumstances for Honduran ladies.
“The shield law will continue to condemn poor women to practice abortion in unsafe conditions, which could lead to death on the one hand or to prison on the other,” Eguigure stated.
According to September 2020 report by the World Health Organization, unsafe abortions account for between 4.7% and 13.2% of maternal deaths globally, every year. The report additionally notes that “restrictive laws are not effective in reducing the rate of abortion.”
An epidemic of sexual violence
In 2018, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) carried out a well being marketing campaign aimed toward offering medical and psychological well being care to survivors of sexual violence in Mexico and Honduras. In the Honduran capital metropolis of Tegucigalpa, 90% of all being pregnant circumstances attended by the MSF mission had been on account of sexual assault.
Political pressures in a serious election yr
Nevertheless, for over 30 years the Honduran authorities has clung to a system that penalizes ladies with as much as six years of jail for acquiring an abortion, even in circumstances of rape or incest.
Pressure from Honduran non secular teams is extensively seen because the dominant political drive in sustaining such strict legal guidelines on abortion.
Eguigure, the ladies’s rights activist, put it extra bluntly. “The country is coopted by religious fanatics.”
2021 is a serious election yr in Honduras, with each the presidency and all 128 seats of Congress up for grabs. Though abortion shouldn’t be a traditionally decisive voting concern for Hondurans, the subject could have been notably delicate amid the latest wave of pro-choice rulings within the area.
But Neesa Medina, a member of feminist collective Somos Muchas, informed CNN she believes its excessive anti-abortion stance can not endure ceaselessly. The defend regulation reveals an actual worry of Latin America’s rising pro-choice motion, she believes.
“They don’t realize that it’s impossible to stop the future,” stated Medina.
Reporting contributed by CNN en Español’s Elvin Sandoval and CNN’s Jack Guy.