Local December 15, 2014 | 12:03 pm

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Dominican leader recruits powerful women in fight against Church

Santo Domingo.- President Danilo Medina appears to be seeking out allies for a potential showdown with Dominican Republic’s powerful Catholic Church, as evidenced by remarks by several prominent women who’ve voiced support and joined the defense of the new Penal Code, which decriminalizes some abortions.

On November 28 Medina vetoed legislation to reform the Penal Code passed by Congress just days earlier, which would’ve fully criminalized abortion.

To justify his veto Medina said while the Government shares the criminalization of abortion under the Penal Code, notes that it should include three exceptions: when the woman’s life is in danger, when the mother has been a victim of rape or incest, or when the fetus is unviable.

Prominent attorney Laura Acosta on Monday called Medina’s veto of the Criminal Code “a responsible action which has allowed women to be considered first-class citizens.”

For veteran journalist Patricia Solano, the president’s veto was a “vote of confidence” for women. "President Danilo Medina’s responsible message has given women in the Dominican Republic a vote of confidence: That only we have the ability to decide, no one can decide for us and that’s what the President has done with these observations."

She said she agrees with Medina and expects Congress to do likewise for the lives of women. “This presents lawmakers with a unique opportunity to do the right thing for the health of women and for life.”

Solano added that the Head of State’s position, “expresses support for the feelings of the women of Dominican society.”

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