Dominican Abortion Debate Focuses on Treating Mom with Leukemia

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A tricky medical case is unfolding in the Dominican Republic where treatment of a pregnant 16-year old suffering from Leukemia is being upheld because it could affect her fetus.
According to Fox News Latino, the plight of the teen, who is suffering from acute leukemia, has heated up the controversy over abortion, which is strictly prohibited by the Dominican Constitution, even when the mother’s life is in danger.
The Feminist Forum said that doctors should have started treating the teenager a week ago and warned that “the time wasted could mark the difference between life and death for this young woman, so we can do no less than ask: What are you waiting for?”
“If the specialists consulted have recommended almost unanimously that chemo be started immediately, why the delay? If the girl, her mother, her doctors and even the public health minister (Bautista Rojas Gomez) have requested the start of treatment, why not go ahead with it?” the forum’s members asked.
The 16-year-old is nine weeks pregnant and urgently needs to undergo chemotherapy for her illness, a treatment that will severely affect the fetus.
The president of the Gynecology Society, Ruddy Guerrero, said that doctors attending the patient are really at a crossroads, but said that the immediate task is to start treating the girl.
This case, forum members said, “once more spotlights the humanitarian dilemmas, political trickery and legal confusion created” by Article 37 of the new constitution enacted in 2010.
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