Nicaragua and Abortion

The Washington Times - Letter to the Editor |

"Nicaraguan abortion ban proves deadly"(World Briefing, Tuesday) underscores the devastating impact that restrictive abortion laws have on women's lives.

 In 2006, an estimated 19 million women and girls worldwide, faced with unintended pregnancies, experienced the harmful consequences of unsafe abortion.

Each year, about 70,000 of these women and girls die, and hundreds of thousands of others are left with debilitating, frequently lifelong injuries. More than 96 percent of these women come from the world's poorest nations, including Nicaragua.

Following last year's ban on abortion in all instances, health expertspredictedthat Nicaragua's already high maternal-mortality rates would soar. Unless this law is reversed, physicians' fears regarding the ban will lead to delays in care of complications that were not previously fatal, such as ectopic pregnancy. And women like Olga Reyes, who died because of an ectopic pregnancy doctors would not treat, will continue to die needlessly.

CARMEN BARROSO

Regional Director
International Planned Parenthood Federation
Western Hemisphere Region
New York City

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