By Gudrun Schultz

MANAGUA, Nicaragua, April 28, 2006 ( – A new proposal to allow therapeutic abortion is being considered by the National Assembly of Nicaragua. The proposal would change the country’s Penal Code to legalize abortions.

Efforts to bring easy abortion access into the country have been fuelled by feminist groups, who used the highly publicized case of a nine-year-old girl made pregnant by rape in 2003, to push for changes to the law. The child was eventually given an abortion despite the illegality of the procedure.

Bishop Juan Abelardo, president of the Bishops’ Committee on Family Ministry, published a letter jointly with the president of the Nicaraguan Association for Life, Dr. Rafael Jose Cabrera, calling for legislators to strike the statute from the reform proposals.

The letter also denounced the involvement of abortion clinics in pushing for the new Code, saying the clinics are interested in providing abortions “to any woman for any reason, with the only requirement being a signature of approval from the woman, her spouse or a close relative, and the signatures of three doctors,” reported the Catholic News Agency.

As well, the letter reminded lawmakers that their actions must reflect the responsibility they hold as leaders of the country to preserve morality and family values in Nicaragua.

Nicaragua Government Moves to Close Legal Loophole Allowing Abortion