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Dominican Republic Reignites Debate Over Abortion Laws

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Sakchi Khandelwal
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Dominican Republic Reignites Debate Over Abortion Laws

The debate over the inclusion of 'las tres causales' in the Penal Code has been reignited in the Dominican Republic, with a judicial candidate for the Constitutional Tribunal and the magistrate Mirian Germán Brito finding themselves on opposing sides of the argument. 'Las tres causales' refers to three specific circumstances under which abortion could be legally permitted, a subject that has roused deep divisions within the nation.

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What are 'Las Tres Causales'?

In essence, 'las tres causales' outlines three conditions where abortion should be allowed: when the life of the mother is in danger, if the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, or if the fetus has a condition incompatible with life outside the womb. This proposal has been met with both fervent support and vehement opposition, reflecting the country's struggle to reconcile its traditional values with modern human rights standards.

A Contentious Issue

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The issue has been further complicated by the involvement of key figures in the Dominican judicial system. A judicial candidate for the Constitutional Tribunal and the magistrate Mirian Germán Brito have found themselves at odds over the inclusion of these three grounds. The Minister of Women, Mayra Jimenez, has also weighed in, defending the need for the legislators to pass the Penal Code with the inclusion of 'las tres causales'.

Implications for Women's Rights

This debate is a microcosm of a larger discussion on women's reproductive rights in the Dominican Republic. The Minister of Women's stance underscores the importance of this issue, stating that until Congress defines the situation, the matter will remain an ongoing topic of discussion. This underlines the complexity of the issue, as well as its potential to shape the future of women's rights in the Dominican Republic. The country finds itself at a crossroads, seeking to modernize its legal framework in line with contemporary human rights standards, while also grappling with deeply ingrained cultural and religious beliefs.

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