Local December 5, 2014 | 7:41 am

Abortion showdown looms in the Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo.- Amid protests by religious groups to keep the criminalization on all types of abortion in the bill to amend the Penal Code, the Dominican government on Thursday said that "no law can force a woman to borne the child of her rapist," to reiterate the need for exceptions.

The row has also brought together the Catholic and Protestant churches, which seldom state joint positions on pressing issues.

Presidency spokesman Roberto Rodriguez Marchena tweeted his thanks to the Catholic women who supported president Danilo Medina’s observations to veto the legislation on the Penal Code.

He no law can compel a pregnant woman to die, when medical science can guarantee her life.

In his letter to the Chamber of Deputies after the veto, Medina said the legislation was vague regarding punishment for abortion, because it didn’t specify exceptions to safeguard pregnant women’s fundamental rights, such as the right to life and health, respect for dignity and mental and moral integrity.

Churches

On Thursday leaders of the Catholic and Protestant churches represented in the Dominican Evangelical Unity Council (Codue) and the Dominican Episcopal Conference staged a joint protest in front of Congress, to demand keep the criminalization on all types of abortion.

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