This is absolutely disgusting. Not to mention unenforceable, unless the state becomes a willingly complicit murderer of women:
Nicaragua has approved a sweeping new law banning abortions, even in cases where the mother’s life is at risk.
The national assembly approved the bill by 52 votes to none, and the bill is now likely to be signed into law.
Abortion has become a central issue in the campaign for Nicaragua’s presidential elections on 5 November.
Left-wing Sandinistas in parliament supported the bill for fear of alienating Roman Catholic voters before the election, correspondents said.
The former Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega was a defender of Nicaragua’s limited abortion rights and a critic of the Catholic church when he led a left-wing Nicaraguan government in the 1980s.
He has since been reconciled with the church and has become a strident opponent of abortion.
Ortega, you’re a disappointment. You’re gonna face hell on Earth for that one, especially if you’re elected!
One really must question the necessity for this, given that the situation in Nicaragua was already dire for women seeking to end a pregnancy:
Nicaragua already has strong anti-abortion laws, with women and doctors who take part in abortions facing prison sentences of up to six years.
A section of the bill increasing those sentences to up to 30 years was not approved by the parliamentarians, and so will not be signed into law by the country’s President, Enrique Bolanos.
Gee, what will they do now? Give women and doctors life sentences just for an operation? Jail women for miscarrying? For how long? Gotta be consistent with existing murder/manslaughter laws regarding this, you know!
There IS opposition:
The timing of the vote was opposed by Nicaragua’s medical association and UN representatives, who warned that the debate had become politicised ahead of the election.
Reuters news agency reports that hundreds of people protested outside the National Assembly in the capital Managua on Wednesday night, saying the law would be a death sentence for the some 400 women who suffer ectopic pregnancies in Nicaragua each year.
“They are forcing women and girls to die. They are not pro-life, they are pro-death,” protester Xiomara Luna told the agency.
…and while they are right about all that, I wonder: Are they enough to stand up against convinced fools like this?
Before the vote, Orlando Tardencilla, one of the members of the sub-committee which proposed the bill, said: “Unless abortion is made a crime, then people can simply come out and say: ‘I have the right to an abortion, this is my body and I can decide.’
“That’s like saying: ‘I’m allowed to commit murder because these hands are mine, this gun is mine.'”
What this kind of facile argumentation misses is that murder isn’t just killing, it requires malice aforethought–by legal definition. What woman ever had an abortion just because she hated her fetus so much that she wanted it to suffer and die miserably?
And again, as I said: Are women also going to go to jail for miscarrying? Will accidental pregnancy loss be legally characterized as manslaughter under this law? If you’re going to define abortion that way, you may as well be consistent about it. That way, you leave a route open for legal challenges to succeed, and clarify, and decide the matter in favor of freedom once and for all.