SANTO DOMINGO, December 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The Constitutional Tribunal of the Dominican Republic has issued a landmark ruling overturning a law pushed through by President Danilo Medina for violating the Caribbean nation's pro-life constitution.
The new law, which had been personally advocated by the president as part of a broader revision of the criminal code, introduced a paragraph that would have allowed abortion to be legalized in cases of rape, incest or in those cases that doctors deemed the preborn child to be suffering from illnesses or disabilities which rendered them “incompatible with life.”
After the president signed the law in December 2014, two non-profit organizations, the Fundacion Matrimonio Feliz and the Fundacion Justicia y Transparencia filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law.
The two groups argued primarily that the law violated the constitutional protection of Article 37 of the Dominican Republic's constitution, which guarantees the right to life as inviolable from conception to death.
The full decision has not yet been published, but LifeSiteNews has obtained a press release in which the highest court in the Dominican Republic summarized its decision.
The organizations that brought the challenge also pointed out the irregularities in the process that was used to push through the law. The Dominican Republic's constitution requires both chambers of the legislature to approve laws before they can be sent to the president for his signature, however in this case only the House of Representatives voted on the final bill before it was given to the president.
In January, the Dominican Republic's bishops conference issued a strong letter of support for the legal efforts to protect the right to life, offering their “prayers so that the Holy Spirit will illuminate the Honorable Judges of the Supreme Court to be guardians of the values laid out in the constitution.”
The landmark pro-life victory comes amidst an international flurry of efforts to legalize abortion by opening the door to abortion in cases of rape, incest and what pro-abortion activists call “incompatibility with life.”
Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Paraguay, and Chile are a few of the many countries along with the Dominican Republic battling this pro-abortion strategy in Latin America, while the judiciary in Europe, Northern Ireland, and the parliament in the Republic of Ireland are engaged in the same battle.
Leading and coordinating the efforts in Latin America is the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR). The CRR filed briefs in support of legalizing abortion in the Dominican Republic.