The pregnant teen is currently lying in a hospital in the country’s capitol city of Santo Domingo, where she is hoping for treatment for Leukemia. However, the chemotherapy would likely terminate the pregnancy, which is against the law in the Dominican Republic.
Rosa Hernandez, the girl’s mother, is trying to convince doctors and the Dominican government to make an exception so that her daughter’s life can be saved. “My daughter’s life is first. I know that [abortion] is a sin and that it goes against the law … but my daughter’s health is first,” Hernandez said.
According to Article 37 of the Dominican constitution, “the right to life is inviolable from the moment of conception and until death.” Dominican courts have interpreted this as a strict mandate against abortion. Article 37, passed in 2009, also abolished the death penalty.
A bioethics council is leaning toward allowing the treatment, but while they are meeting and debating, the clock is ticking on the life of the teenage girl.
Here’s the video:
Clearly, this situation is extreme, but it’s hardly unique. Many in the Republican party and within the Catholic Church would like to see the US Constitution contain similar wording. Perhaps they would even outlaw abortion in the case of an ectopic pregnancy, where without an abortion, both the mother and fetus are doomed. The problem, of course, is that life is nuanced. A human being, one for whom people have had 16 + years of emotional investment, is not less important than an unformed fetus.
Of course, the born are of little concern to many in the anti-choice crowd. They’re perfectly fine with a baby lacking basic nutrition or healthcare. They’re perfectly fine with victims of rape being forced relive the trauma again and again, just so a fetus can come to full term. They’re perfectly fine with a 16-year-old girl dying of cancer.