By Erin Jobes
The streets of Santo Domingo were flooded earlier this month with thousands of pro-life citizens protesting a bill that would legalize abortion in extreme cases.
At the moment, abortion is illegal in all cases in the Dominican Republic, but this bill would allow abortions in cases of rape, incest, and fetal deformity.
Organized by Catholic Archbishop Francisco Ozoria Acosta of Santiago, both Catholic and Protestant pro-lifers gathered together for the “Let’s Save Both Lives” march, to show the government they want to keep protections for the preborn in place.
The Archdiocese of Santo Domingo stated, “Our obligation is to warn what will happen if abortion on three grounds [of fetal deformity, rape, and incest] is approved.”
The archdiocese also expressed its concerns with other countries that have legalized abortion saying, “The culture of death groups demand that unrestricted abortion be approved, maternal mortality does not go down, neither do teen pregnancies."
Despite pressure from United Nations agencies and other abortion advocates, Dominican Republic lawmakers made a pro-life change to their constitution in 2009, with 128 votes approving and 32 opposed. The amendment stated “the right to life is inviolable from conception until death.”
The Dominican Republic is not alone in their commitment to protect life, other Central and Latin American countries including Chile, El Salvador, Suriname, Honduras, and Nicaragua protect the preborn as well.
A 2015 Pew Research Survey shows the majority of Latin Americans believe abortion should continue to be illegal, including 86 percent of people polled in the Dominican Republic.