On Wednesday, the high court of the Dominican Republic ruled to block a law that legalized abortions in certain cases, including fetal deformity.
The Dominican Republic is one of several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that bans abortions with no explicit exceptions, including Chile, El Salvador, Suriname, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Last year a law allowing abortions was passed by congress and signed by President Danilo Medina. The changes were set to take effect on December 27.
But the high court ruled that the new law was unconstitutional, and struck it down. An amendment to the constitution of the Dominican Republic states, “the right to life is inviolable from conception until death.” The amendment passed in 2009 by a vote of 128-32.
Pro-life leaders in the Dominican Republic have long argued that abortionists and abortion advocates who are in power deceive women with fear-filled propaganda and put their lives at risk.
The Cardinal Archbishop of Santo Domingo, Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, has spoken out on abortion multiple times, once stating:
We know that there are butcher doctors, there are legislators who like to trade in life, there are people who have authority who make a living from that.
We are here to tell you, ‘yes to life, no to death,’ definitely.
Rodriguez also called abortion a “crime,” explaining that it “exploits women.”
LifeSiteNews reported the story of one pro-life citizen who explained her own reasons for believing that the Dominican Republic should not legalize abortion:
One citizen, Maria Ramona Garcia, offered a moving account of her own situation. One of her own children was the product of a rape she suffered, but according to her the child is the “most beautiful” she has had. “Children are not guilty for the circumstances in which they were conceived,” she told the legislators.
The Dominican Republic has seen steady opposition to its pro-life stance from international pro-abortion groups, even from agencies of the United Nations. But so far, the tiny island nation is holding to its pro-life values.