Take Action Today to Support Dominican Women's Rights

dr-flagWomen in the Dominican Republic face a dire threat of losing their rights to contraception, assisted reproduction services, and safe abortion care.

Please take two actions today to support Dominican women as they fight to retain access to the sexual and reproductive health care they need and want:

(1)    Sign a petition, asking the Senate President Reinaldo Pared Pérez  and President of the House of Representatives Julio Cesar Valentin Jiminian to stand strong for women’s rights, and
(2)    Send a letter to the Presidents of the Senate and House to express your concern women’s rights are being eroded in the Constitutional reform process and demand that they stand up for women’s rights and health. Read a sample letter, Spanish language only, here.

What is happening with women’s rights in the Dominican Republic?
The Dominican law that criminalizes abortion is over 100 years-old and prohibits abortion even in cases of rape. Spurred by a push from women’s rights advocates, the executive branch decided to reform the law in August 2006. In the summer of 2007, public hearings were held on decriminalizing abortion. While this review process is still ongoing, it has been further complicated by a decision to undertake Constitutional reforms.

Recently, President Leonel Fernandez proposed new Constitutional language to establish the right to life from conception. Women’s rights and health advocates, led by Colectiva Mujer y Salud, are concerned that this new language could make it illegal for women to use contraceptives or assisted reproduction and stop any progress on making abortion safe and legal.  Please speak out today on the right of all women and girls to access comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care, which must include contraceptives, safe abortion care, and other services they need to fully realize their rights.

Susanna Smith is the Program Officer for Communications at the International Women’s Health Coalition. Read her bio  here .



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