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Dublin Opinion >>
Costa Rica – Call to action to help Aurora
gender and sexuality |
Saturday December 08, 2012 16:11 by Elric
Aurora is a 32-year old Costa Rican woman. She has a job that she likes, a good relationship, after months of trying, she is finally pregnant. However, at 8 weeks, the doctors informed her that the fetus has multiple severe malformations that would not allow it to survive outside the uterus, including severe scoliosis, decreased level of amniotic fluid, and a complete absence of abdominal wall which leaves the internal organs such as the liver and intestines outside of the body. She has had many more exams since, which have all confirmed the original diagnosis of a nonviable pregnancy. A little after her first appointment, Aurora started experiencing strong abdominal and back pain that prevent her from working. The circumstances of the pregnancy are seriously affecting her physical and emotional health. Aurora has indicated that “in addition to the physical pain, the stress and suffering resulting from the news have provoked constant sadness, depression, severe stress, insomnia, nightmares, constant tears”
Aurora is now about 25 weeks pregnant. We demand that she be given immediate access to a therapeutic abortion.
On multiple occasions, Aurora has requested that they end her suffering. However, the medical professionals and medical authorities in Costa Rica have repeatedly denied her right to a therapeutic abortion. This, despite the fact that the medical recommendation points toward pregnancy termination and that some of the professionals who are treating Aurora have indicated that the pregnancy would be terminated in more “advanced” countries. Therefore, Aurora is being forced to carry the pregnancy to term, despite the serious physical and emotional damage that this causes her.
Therapeutic abortion is allowed in the Costa Rican law. Article 121 of the Costa Rican Criminal Code signals that abortion is not criminalized when practiced with the consent of the woman, a doctor, or an authorized obstetrician, when it is practiced to avoid danger to the life or health of the woman and cannot be avoided by other means.
Aurora’s case is not an isolated situation. In 2007 A.N., another Costa Rican woman, suffered a similar situation. A.N. was a 27-year old woman who was forcet to carry to term an anencephalic pregnancy (severe cerebral malformation of the fetus). After 7 hours of labor, she gave birth to a dead baby girl. To this day, as a result of this experience, A.N. is fighting depression, anxiety attacks, chronic diarrhea, and social inhibition.
There have been many Savitas in Latin America, where some of the world's most restrictive abortion laws are found. It is rare that their individual names or circumstances are heard. Costa Rican campaigners are spreading the word about Aurora in the hope that international pressure can force their government to relent and recognise her right to terminate her pregnancy. Please, please help them accomplish this.
Send messages to the following individuals:
Dra. Ileana Balmaceda, Presidenta Ejecutiva de la CCSS.
Dra. Daisy Corrales, Ministra de Salud.
Dra. Sisy Castillo, Viceministra de Salud.
Dra. María Eugenia Villalta, Gerente Médica de la CCSS.
Dra. Flory Morera González, Presidenta de la Asociación de Ginecología y Obstetricia de Costa Rica (AOGCR).
The press has reported in recent days on a woman who has been refused a therapeutic termination of pregnancy. This woman’s pregnancy is not viable as severe malformations have been identified.
I believe that compelling this woman to carry her pregnancy to term is an act of cruelty and torture, and a violation of her human rights. Therefore, I am writing to demand that she is offered the option of a therapeutic abortion, pursuant to article 121 of the Costa Rican Penal Code.
Originally posted to European Pro-Choice Network by Wendy Lyon.