Until now, the Dominican Republic was one of the few nations with a complete ban on abortion. The law did not allow exceptions for the health and safety of the woman; rape or incest; or severe fetal abnormality. That changed on December 19, when President Danilo Medina put into effect a new Criminal Code that allows abortions under the above-mentioned circumstances.
Countries around the world that strictly deny women’s access to abortion, including when such access could save their lives and health, also tend to have the highest rates of maternal mortality.
Most Latin American countries criminalize abortions, forcing girls and women to resort to unsafe, clandestine abortions. According to the World Health Organization, “Death due to complications of abortion is not uncommon, and is one of the principal causes of maternal mortality” and of an estimated 300,000 hospitalizations.