UN asks Honduras to decriminalize abortion

NEW YORK (HPD) — The United Nations called on Honduras Monday to stop criminalizing abortion and ensure the distribution of emergency contraceptives among its population.

The UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) issued its conclusions after reviewing the situation of women’s rights in eight countries around the world, including Honduras, and expressed concern about the “restrictions” on reproductive health rights that exist in the Central American nation.

In a 16-page report, the Committee said that mortality among women who give birth has decreased in Honduras, but noted that the criminalization of abortion without exceptions in the country results in “a high number of women and girls seeking abortions who do not They’re safe.” It also criticized the ban on the “promotion, use, sale and purchase of emergency contraception, including when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.”

The Committee indicated in its report concern about the “alarming high percentage” of women who test positive for the human papillomavirus (HPV) and the “limited” access for women and girls to sexual and reproductive information.

On the other hand, the UN highlighted in its report that Honduras registered the highest rate of femicide in Latin America in 2019 and denounced the high levels of gender-based violence in the country, including sexual violence.

Countries like El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic prohibit abortion without exception and punish it with jail. Last year, the Honduran Legislative Branch approved a constitutional reform that prevents the legalization of abortion.

In its report, the UN asked Honduras to legalize abortion “at least in cases of rape, incest, risk to the life of the pregnant woman and severe fetal disability and to decriminalize it in all other cases and ensure that girls and women have safe access to abortion and post-abortion services”.

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