A pregnant 16-year-old in the Dominican Republic has died after being unable to receive chemotherapy due to an abortion ban. Doctors refused treatment for the teen’s leukaemia as the treatment could end the pregnancy, placing the life saving treatment in violation of the Domincan Constitution, which bans abortion.
The doctors talked for several days fearing imprisonment and the loss of their medical licenses if administering the life saving treatment resulted in the death of the baby. At the time of her death, the girl, whose name has not been released, was 13 weeks pregnant and was admitted to hospital with aggressive cancer while still in the first trimester of her pregnancy.
The teen passed away after miscarrying on Friday. Rosa Hernandez, her mother, has said:
“My daughter’s life is first. I know that (abortion) is a sin and that it goes against the law … but my daughter’s health is first,” Hernandez said. “They have killed me, I’m dead, dead. I’m nothing,” her mother said. ” She was the reason for my existence. I no longer live. Rosa has died. Let the world know that Rosa is dead.”
This story, to me, epitomises why abortion should be legal and it should be safe. Maybe this girl’s life couldn’t have been saved through chemotherapy. But maybe it could. We will never know now, and that breaks my heart.
It is never as simple as saying life is sacred, abortion is murder. It is never as simple as it seems. We can not have a blanket ban over something like abortion. My mother was a midwife back when abortion was illegal in Australia. She saw women die, many, many women die, because of that ban. Women whose lives were at risk due to their pregnancy. Women who had gone to a “backyard” clinic to have the procedure done.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Abortion must be legal, and it must be safe.
What do you think? Should abortion be legal? Has this story impacted your opinion?