By John Jalsvac

June 28, 2007 ( – The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation for the Netherlands has threatened Nicaragua, saying that the country which recently banned all abortions may only receive EU and Dutch funding in the case that it reverses its comprehensive abortion ban, reports CNA.

According to CNA, Bert Koenders made the remarks while addressing the Dutch Platform of Millennium Goals.

“Even if an abortion is medically necessary, it still remains illegal in Nicaragua,” said Koenders, “which results in the death of women. We should emphasize that this is completely unacceptable.”

  Koenders, who said he wants the UN and fellow EU members to “put women’s rights higher on the agenda,” also indicated that countries that are receiving foreign aid and that do not have legalized abortion may see their aid withdrawn.  “I do not want to immediately cancel our aid to Nicaragua, but we certainly will weigh the matter.”

  A law passed in October of last year in the National Assembly by a vote of 52-0, eliminated a loophole in Nicaraguan law that allowed an unborn child to be killed if three doctors certified that a woman’s “life or health” was at risk. The so-called “health” exception terminology, however, has opened the door in other countries to virtually unlimited abortion-on-demand. The law also changed a former exception in the case children who were conceived through rape.

“Unless abortion is made a crime, then people can simply come out and say: ‘I have the right to an abortion, this is my body and I can decide,’” said  Orlanda Tardencilla, a member of the sub-committee which proposed the bill at the time of its passage.

The law was passed with the enthusiastic support of the Catholic Church. Archbishop Leopoldo Brenes, pointed out in early October of last year his belief that so-called ‘therapeutic’ abortion is simply a tool of international agencies to open up the door to abortion on demand in various countries. “Therapeutic abortion is a door through which abortion could be legalized in Nicaragua, as has unfortunately happened in other countries,” he said.

This is not the first time that Nicaragua has been threatened for its prohibitions on abortion.

In 2000, Thomas Jimenez, UN Population Fund (UNFPA) representative to Nicaragua announced that aid to the country would be halted since the nation’s family planning programs contained “discrepancies.” UNFPA was enraged over the decision of then-Nicaraguan Minister for Families Max Padilla and Education Minister Fernando Robleto to reject the UN’s “reproductive health” programs. They did so because the UN’s programs advocated abortion.

  Earlier this year several UN officials argued against Nicaragua’s abortion laws before the country’s Supreme Court. There have been other cases of UN and EU pressure on the South American country. 
  Read related coverage:

EU Threatens to Withdraw Aid to Nicaragua if Pro-Life Law Remains

Nicaragua Congress Passes New Law Outlawing All Abortions

  Nicaraguan President Signs into Law Bill Banning All Abortion Despite UN Intimidation

Pregnant 9-Year Old Rape Victim Being Used to Push Abortion Legalization


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