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President of Costa Rica signs abortion statute after tens of thousands march through capital in defence of life

Costa Rica’s president has signed a statute that could increase the number of abortions in the Central American nation.

While it does not expand or change any laws, the legal statute signed by President Carlos Alvarado Quesasda clarifies the conditions under which doctors can perform an abortion procedure in the country. It could, therefore, give doctors the ‘confidence’ to perform abortions without legal repercussions.  

Pro-life campaigners in the country are dismayed at President Alvarado, saying the move could open the door to abortion on demand.

Since 1971, Costa Rica’s Criminal Code has allowed abortions to take place with the consent of an expectant mother “when done in order to avoid a threat to the mother’s life or health” and when no other alternatives are available. 

However, The Tico Times claims that, despite what the law stipulates, many doctors fear performing an abortion because of the lack of a protocol that establishes the procedures to follow and the precise conditions in which the law is applied.   

The Health Ministry and Casa Presidencial has now stated that these are the rules surrounding the legislation:

  • A group of three medical professionals must assess (within three days of a request for an abortion) if a termination is legally permissible for the woman seeking one
  • There must be no other option to secure the woman’s emotional or physical health.
  • Once they decide, the woman can either accept that decision or appeal. In addition, the woman must have given consent to the abortion and must have access to understandable, timely and scientific-based evidence upon which to base her decision, as well as comprehensive care.
  • Health professionals have the ability to cite conscientious objection to the procedure while ensuring it does not affect the medical attention available to the woman.

The President’s actions come just two weeks after tens of thousands of people have marched through the streets of San José, the capital of Costa Rica, in defence of life.

Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz, leader of the Costa Rican opposition party, said at the march: “the groups that have promoted this statute are the same ones that ask for abortion without any reason. This shows us that what this statute really proposes is unlimited abortion in Costa Rica”

Pro-life advocates have been showing support for the unborn in rallies around the world.

This month, thousands of people from all over New Zealand marched in the country’s capital calling on their political leaders to defend human life from conception, ahead of next year’s vote on an extreme abortion bill. Over 50,000 people gathered in the streets of Slovakia’s capital city, Bratislava, for The National March for Life as the country debates allowing abortions after 12 weeks gestation.

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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Dear reader

In 2020, the UK Government imposed an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland, which included a provision that legalised abortion right up to birth for disabilties including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

A new Bill has been launched at the Northern Ireland assembly that will remove the current provision that allows abortion for ‘severe fetal impairment’.

It is under these grounds in the regulations that babies with disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot can currently be singled out for abortion in Northern Ireland because of their disability and can be aborted right up to birth.

Before the new abortion regime was imposed on Northern Ireland in 2020, disability-selective abortion for conditions such as Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot was not legal and there was a culture of welcoming and supporting people with these disabilities rather than eliminating them.

This is reflected directly in the latest figures (2016) from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, which show that while there were 52 children born with Down’s syndrome in Northern Ireland, in the same year only 1 child from Northern Ireland with Down’s syndrome was aborted in England and Wales. 

This contrasts with the situation in the rest of the United Kingdom where disability-selective abortion has been legal since 1967.

The latest available figures show that 90% of children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome before birth are aborted in England and Wales.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to take 30 seconds of your time and add your support to the campaign to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot in Northern Ireland.

If you live in Northern Ireland: 
Ask your MLAs to vote to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot:

If you live outside Northern Ireland: 
Show your support by signing this petition in support of the Bill:

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Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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