Nicaraguan authorities have withheld life-saving treatment from a pregnant cancer patient because it could harm the foetus and violate a total ban on abortion.
A state-run hospital has monitored the cancer spreading in the body of the 27-year-old named only as Amalia since her admission on February 12 but has not offered chemotherapy, radiotherapy or a therapeutic abortion, citing the law.
The decision has ignited furious protests from relatives and campaigners who say the woman, who has a 10-year-old daughter and is 10 weeks pregnant, will die unless treated. The cancer is suspected to have spread to her brain, lungs and breasts. They have petitioned the courts, government and the pan-regional Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to intervene.
The case has revived controversy over the 2007 law which made Nicaragua one of the few countries to prohibit abortion under any circumstances. Girls and women who seek an abortion, and health professionals who provide health services associated with abortion, face jail.
No exceptions. None. Not rape, not incest. Certainly not the health or life of the woman. Even women carrying fetuses with no brains and zero hope of life must carry them to term.
Amalia is being monitored at a hospital in Leon, the second-largest city in the impoverished central American country. The hospital director, Ricardo Cuadra, said the case had been referred to a government-run medical commission which is due to issue a recommendation next Monday.
The doctors won't treat her because they're scared. Imagine being one of the doctors or nurses 'monitoring' Amalia.
The government said it would make an announcement after the medical commission reported. "We will comment on this case in due time," said the health minister, Guillermo Gonzalez.
And then the spin:
In apparent reference to the authorities' frequent clashes with non-governmental organisations, he added: "Unfortunately, it seems that there are political interests behind this."
Spin taken up by a Catlick organ.
In an attempt to pressure officials in Nicaragua to legalize abortion, feminist groups are drawing attention to the dramatic case of a pregnant woman suffering from cancer, arguing that the only chance of survival for “Amelia,” the fictitious name given to the woman, is to undergo an abortion.
Um. No, not in anything I've read. Amalia's family and supporters want her cancer treated.
Typical fetus fetishist fantasy. Elsewhere in the article, there is the claim that Amalia is being 'sequestered' by the evil abortion-loving feminazis.
Last summer, DJ! blogged on a scathing report from Amnesty International.
According to official figures, 33 girls and women have died in pregnancy this year as compared to 20 in the same period last year. Amnesty International believes these figures are only a minimum as the government itself has acknowledged that the number of maternal deaths is under-recorded.
And ferlardsake, it's not just the preventable deaths of these women, but the bloody suffering they go through. And their families. And their soon-to-be-orphaned children.
Yet this is the kind of no-family-planning, no-contraception, no-abortion, misogynist healthcare Steve is promoting.
* For more information on the dastardly wheeling and dealing, including Daniel Ortega's embrace of Catholicism, at least in part to evade charges of 'systematic sexual abuse' of his step-daughter, check out this old blogpost I wrote at Birth Pangs.