In the Dominican Republic, abortion is illegal in all circumstances, even when the life of the pregnant woman or girl is at risk. The total ban on abortion in the country has devastating consequences. Women and girls with unplanned or unwanted pregnancies – including those resulting from rape or incest or in cases of unviability of the fetus – are forced to choose between a clandestine abortion or to continue with their pregnancy Even if they do not want to and even if this involves serious risks to your health, including death. Some women and girls have the resources and means to travel to another country where abortion is legal or to find safe healthcare providers to help them end a pregnancy, but many, especially those in poor and rural communities, risk their health and their lives. life undergoing clandestine abortions, often without any guidance from trained personnel. Some women and girls suffer serious health problems, or even die, from unsafe abortions.
The Dominican Republic ranks fifth in pregnancies of girls and teenagers among the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. According to the National Survey of Multiple Purpose Homes, 22% of teenagers between 15 and 19 years of age in the country have been pregnant. The highest rates are observed in the provinces of Azua (36.9%) and Pedernales (35.1%).
The Penal Code of the Dominican Republic provides penalties of up to 2 years in prison for women and girls who induce abortions, and up to 20 years for medical professionals who perform them. Although there are relatively rare cases in which actions are taken against women and girls who undergo abortions, and against those who help them, the law has instilled a widespread fear that leads women and girls to take desperate measures to terminate unwanted pregnancies. , and that prevents medical providers from protecting the health and lives of their patients. For more than two decades, the legislative branch of the Dominican Republic has debated a new Penal Code.
Former President, Danilo Medina at the time urged legislators to decriminalize abortion in three circumstances: when the life of the woman or girl is at risk, when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or when the fetus presents severe conditions incompatible with extrauterine life. On two occasions, the government vetoed reforms of the Penal Code that maintained the absolute prohibition of abortion without exceptions.
Is abortion legal in the Dominican Republic?
NO. In the Dominican Republic, abortion is illegal in all circumstances, even when the life of the pregnant woman or girl is at risk. The total ban on abortion in the country has devastating consequences.
The Penal Code of the Dominican Republic provides penalties of up to two years in prison for women and girls who induce abortions, and up to 20 years for medical professionals who perform them. The Dominican Republic is one of only six countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that maintain a total ban on abortion.
What are the abortion services available in the Dominican Republic?
The services that women can access are not regulated and are:
Abortion in underground Clinics
Medical / Health Personnel Giving Unregulated Guidance
Herbal Medicine Abortion (In case you know the medicinal combinations or receive guidance from someone else) Sometimes these abortions are not completed due to limited knowledge of this kind of procedures.
Abortion with pills (They can be obtained clandestinely by buying them in pharmacies or by paying bribes to the pharmacy staff).
There are women’s networks that have emerged from underground to support other women in deciding about their own bodies with regulated, up-to-date and hopeful guidance.
Other networks work communally, by word of mouth and the support and accompaniment is more direct depending on whether it is urban or rural.
Who can provide a safe abortion in the Dominican Republic?
Du to the clandestine context, it is complicated to access a service which is 100% safe.
Where can I go to access a safe abortion?
Some private clinics can perform these procedures. However due to highly restrictive context, there is no clinic or health center who is able to provide it in optimal conditions.
It is important to consider that there are feminist collectives that provide discrete and safe informations, but overall, stigma free.
How much does an abortion cost?
For a woman who is able to pay for a clandestine abortion in a private clinic or health center, the approximate costs range between 10,000 and 30,000 Dominican pesos (175 to 500 USD) The prices could be higher, and it will depend on the guarantees of the place and economic conditions of the Girl and/or woman requesting the service.
Aborting with pills will cost between 2,500 and 3,000 Dominican Pesos (43 to 55 US Dollars. It will also depend on the extra payment to a third party to get the pills or to the pharmacist to sell them. They tend to be cheaper or free when they can be accessed through women’s movements that support this practice.
What are the legal and safe medications available?
Cytotec/Misoprostol/Misodel. Pharmacies sell the medications that are used to have an abortion with a Medical prescription and Drug Control approval. Abortion pills are regularly used to work for other medical conditions besides abortion.
Where can I get abortion pills?
You can get Misoprostol without a prescription, but it takes a while to get the full dose. Over-the-counter pharmacies are neighborhood drugstores, but they are likely to inflate the price.
The easiest way is to get them from pharmacists who sell them clandestinely.
They can be obtained by asking for Women Help Women via the Web, but only middle-class women or those with better economic conditions who handle technological issues have access to these channels.
What do abortion pills look like in the Dominican Republic?
Who can I contact for more information on access to safe abortion in the Dominican Republic?