The catholic church has successfully instituted a total ban on abortion in Nicaragua. The ban was backed by the major political parties, including Daniel Ortega, the Sandinista leader, who is vying for the presidency, but has now succeeded in alienating many Sandinista followers. Not that that will make much of a difference in this overwhelmingly catholic country.
The new bill overturns a 130-year-old policy permitting abortions in exceptional cases (including for rape victims). The Guardian quotes Rafael Cabrera, an obstetrician and leader of the Yes to Life movement, as saying
That medical science advances meant a foetus could be brought to the point of viability without endangering the mother's life. "We don't believe a child should be destroyed under the pretext that a woman might die."
How is that a right to life? Where does the catholic church get off valuing the life of a foetus over that of a mother (or a young rape victim for that matter). Surely their book of wisdom would state that they are at least equal.
I can't quite decide what's worse: the policy itself or the insane hypocrisy that is used to justify it.
The new bill places Nicaragua in line with several other regressive countries, mainly in the Middle East and Africa, that place sexist religious principles over the lives and independence of their female populations (whether they subscribe to the dominant religious ideology or not).
Oh, but I forgot. Women who get raped deserve it. Of course they do. How stupid of me.
Poland, it seems, is striving to swell the ranks of countries with insane abortion laws too, with The Guardian also reporting that the Polish government debating a motion introduced by the ultra-conservative League of Polish Families, which would, if passed, make Poland resemble Nicaragua. At least there's not much chance of it actually getting through as opponent numbers mean the League is unlikely to the two-thirds majority it requires.
Thank [insert deity here] for small mercies.