The 16-year-old pregnant leukemia patientâ€™s story attracted worldwide attention after she had to wait 20 days for chemotherapy because of the Article 37 abortion ban in the Dominican Republic.
According to Article 37 of the Dominican Constitution, “the right to life is inviolable from the moment of conception and until death.” Dominican courts have interpreted this as a strict mandate against abortion. Article 37, passed in 2009, also abolished the death penalty. At least they are consistent.
Rosa Hernandez, the girlâ€™s mother, is accusing doctors of putting her daughterâ€™s unborn fetus above the health of her daughter. The girl was thirteen weeks pregnant. Mrs. Hernandez begged the hospital for an exemption in the case of her sick daughter. Mind you, she didnâ€™t ask for an abortion for her daughter. She only begged for life saving treatment, as any mother would.
In the end, treatment was administered but not until the girlâ€™s chemotherapy treatment was delayed by 20 crucial days. Her daughter died because life-saving measures were withheld until rigmarole and legal hoops were cleared.
The doctors were hesitant to give her chemotherapy because they feared the chemotherapy would terminate the pregnancy and that would violate the Dominican Constitution, which bans abortion.
By the time she received treatment, it was too late. The young patientâ€™s body rejected a blood transfusion and did not respond to the chemotherapy. She suffered a miscarriage, followed by cardiac arrest, and doctors were unable to revive her. The very thing the doctors and the law were trying to prevent happened anyway, the young girl lost her pregnancy and her own life and now her mother survives to grieve them both.
This could have all been avoided had Article 37 not been in place or at the very least, had they made an exception for a dying young lady.
Do you think they should have lifted the ban for these extenuating circumstances?
Photo Source:Tip Times