Abortion law reform seeks rape victims to opt for premature birth after 22 weeks

In the midst of voting for Senate Bill 693 In the Committee on Life and Family Affairs in SenateLawmakers Migdalia Gonzalez-Arroyo and Maria de Lourdes Santiago Negron noted Thursday that The procedure restricting abortion was modified to include that a rape victim “may elect” to have a premature birth after 22 weeks, unless there is a medical decision otherwise.

I find the modifications to raped women very shocking. The only alternative they will have after 22 weeks, in the absence of a statement from the doctor or a clinical emergency, is to undergo premature labor and, if they so choose, to voluntary surrender (of the newborn). ) “Santiago Negron, regretted, teary-eyed as he left the Life and Family Committee offices after voting against the measure.

Voting was until 1:00 p.m., but office attendees took part in extending the vote. At noon, Santiago Negron, Gonzalez Arroyo, Ana Irma Rivera Lassen and José Vargas Fedot voted against Project 693.

“This is exactly what we are looking for, and no one is being forced into it. We do not want to force anyone to do a particular thing, but instead allow the person to be the person who can make the decision,” deplored Gonzalez Arroyo, chair of the Women’s Affairs Committee, which has the procedure In the second case.

Despite the fact that the positive report included the Women’s Affairs Committee’s approval of the measure, the senator confirmed that she would write another report against Project 693.

During the four public hearings of this procedure, only five of the co-authors participated in the procedure. Senators Albert Torres and Jose Dalmao Santiago were not present at any time.

Several modifications were made to the measure collected from all sectors. (On rape victims) I see it from another side. “A woman who has been raped has the right to an abortion during the first 22 weeks,” Dalmao Santiago said.

Santiago Negron and Gonzalez Arroyo agreed that Project 693 was not necessary and posed a risk of unsafe abortions on the island because of the limitations it would address regarding women’s freedom to decide about their own bodies.

“In the case of pregnancy due to rape, if none of the exceptions set forth in this article are met, if the mother does not wish to continue her pregnancy, beyond 22 weeks of gestation, she may opt for induction. Premature delivery, as long as the physician decides That induction of preterm labor will not endanger the life of the mother and provide the prospects for the child’s survival after birth,” states the latest version of the legislation.

The exceptions indicated by the project correspond to: “When the decision to terminate a pregnancy is based on a medical judgment”; “When a doctor diagnoses a fetal malformation incompatible with life”; and “when a physician licensed to practice medicine in Puerto Rico refutes the presumption of feasibility by determining, in light of best medical practice, that a pregnancy of twenty-two (22) weeks or more gestation will not be able to independently survive its ectopic mother.

“Nothing has changed in the project and I have not been able to certify the project. I made it clear, there is no culture in favor of abortion, I am a mother, I have children and granddaughters, I know it is important to preserve life, but it cannot be through violating women’s rights, and many circumstances have to be taken into account,” Gonzalez-Arroyo expresseddenouncing the modifications made to the procedure.

The popular senator clarified that the original version excluded or did not cover rape cases, but in this revised version, The measure is to “practically force them to induce labor.”

Senate Bill 693 was introduced on December 6, 2021 by seven senators, including the president of the Senate. The people’s senators had agreed to meet in a partisan bloc before the report could be voted on.

For his part, Santiago Negron deplored that the positive report of the Anti-Abortion Scale contained explicit images, images of testimonies and religious material in the text.

The pro-independence senator was the first to go to the Bureau of the Life and Family Committee to vote against the bill, and He reiterated that it seemed to him that the contributions of the antenatal health experts who attended the hearings were not taken into account.

“In the case of rape, the project has established that if the mother is healthy and the child, who is five and a half months old or older, is also healthy, and the doctor has already decided that he can live outside the womb, in these cases you cannot terminate the life of this child, but the mother will have the option to seek an early birth so that she will not be pregnant for nine months.”Joan Rodriguez Fifi, chair of the Committee on Life and Family Affairs, said in an interview with TeleOnce.

For its part, eight organizations, endorsed by 26 other civil entities, in the morning published a widespread negative report about the procedure “because it limits the right to abortion in Puerto Rico from the twenty-second week of pregnancy.”

“Terminations of pregnancies performed in a gestation period of more than 22 weeks are exceptional, and correspond to greater health risks to the pregnant woman and/or fetus. The assumption that women and pregnant women in more advanced stages of pregnancy are miscarried just for the sake of liberation is a false assumption, and a violent view toward women And pregnant women, their human rights are violated,” as stated in the report of the anti-project organizations.

Senator Rivera Lassen said the bill does not respect the rights of rape victims and stressed that the bill does not understand the blanket term for what health is. “It seems to me that the people who signed this bill should have been present at the hearings and listen to what was discussed there,” said Senator Movimiento Victoria Ciudadana (MVC).

During the four public hearings of this procedure, only five of the co-authors participated in the procedure. Senators Albert Torres and Dalmao Santiago were not involved in the operation despite criticism the Senate president has received for classifying the termination of pregnancy at 22 pregnancies as a “murder.”

“I support the project. (…) The panel of experts has its opinion and I am mine. Life experiences in which I think and believe things make me vote this way. I was aware of what was happening in the public hearings,” said the senator. Henry Newmanwho is part of the committee, but did not attend any of the hearings.

Meanwhile, a new progressive senator Nitza Moran Trinidad He explained that he did not vote on this occasion because he does not belong to the Committee on Life and Family Affairs, but he submitted that he is against the procedure and will vote against it in the committee.

“I went to the public hearings because I want this report to present what has already been done there. (…) I am a pro-life and a mother, but I can’t go into what I believe in and also four women’s rights. That the United States court makes some decisions, Right, Moran Trinidad said: “Nothing has been decided.

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