Modification to Article 30 of the Constitution of the Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 20 and 21 November 2009
The Socialist International Women (SIW) is very worried and alarmed by the modification to Article 30 of the Constitution of the Dominican Republic which criminalises abortion in all its forms, including therapeutic abortion.
In the Dominican Republic abortion was already criminalised in the Penal Code, but now with the modification to Article 30, abortion has risen to a constitutional rank and has become forbidden in all its forms.
Under the pretext of protecting life, Article 30 states that “The right to life is inviolable from conception until death…” and the indirect result of this formulation will translate into a death sentence for many women and girls.
In the process of the Constitutional reform, a vast number of members of parliament from the Dominican Revolutionary Party, PRD, voted in favour of the new text to Article 30 and only two members voted against, establishing in this way a formula that contravenes the SIW principles of freedom and of respect for the right of all women to reproductive auto-determination.
Therefore, the Socialist International Women:
Urges the Dominican Revolutionary Party, the government of the Dominican Republic and Parliament to protect women’s rights and to reconsider their decision, which is in violation of the United Nations' Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and which was ratified by the Dominican Republic;
Offers its full support to the women and men in the Dominican Republic who are fighting for the human rights of women and
Urges all women's organisations and progressive men worldwide to join SIW in the fight against restrictive practices concerning women's health and reproductive rights.