Inquisition in Nicaragua?

Why do the religious extremists think they have a right to legislate women’s bodies?  Please take a moment to act (see below).  From the Inbox:

BEGINNING OF A NEW INQUISITION IN NICARAGUA

As part of the electoral campaign, the Frente Sandinista under the leadership of ex-revolutionary Daniel Ortega and his Somocist vice presidential candidate, along with other right wing parties (PLC, ALN) have formed an alliance with the Vatican and its catholic hierarchy and some evangelical churches to rush through a law by Wednesday, October 18th, 2006 to outlaw any form of abortion.

This violates established legal process and the secular constitution of the republic as well as basic human rights. It will roll back rights established in a law allowing for therapueutic abortion that has existed since 1891.

The only major party openly in favour of guaranteeing women’s rights and the therapeutic abortion law is the MRS (Movement for Sandinista Renewal) which has signed an alliance with the Autonomous Women’s Movement.

The existing law restricts the right to abortion only to pregnant women whose lives are in danger. If the new law passes (probable, due to the correlation of forces in the present National Assembly) it means a death sentence for poor women with pregnancies that threaten their lives and torture for raped women, or any woman who can’t or doesn’t want to go ahead with an pregnancy that endangers her health or because of major problems with the fetus.

It will also be an excuse for political persecution against the women’s movement and the medical profession if one of these parties wins the election. Women and doctors involved in abortion could face up to 30 years in prison and it will be illegal to promote the right to an abortion, as it will be encouraging a “crime”.

This is a flagrant violation of women’s right to life, to health, to make decision over own lives. It is also form of institutionalized torture and paves the way for dictatorial measures that violate of our rights as Nicaraguan citizens to free speech and free association, men and women alike. We are facing a new inquisition.

Behind this is also the repression of sexual rights which is also on the agenda of religious fundamentalists and their machista and corrupt allies in the political arena.

If you are interested in supporting us to fight this situation, you can help in the following ways:

1. Organise protests in front of the Nicaraguan Embassies.

2. Talk to the people in the media and encourage them to cover this situation.

3. Send letters to the National Assembly.

4. Pass this message along to other women and men who believe in human rights, people involved in social organizations or movements, artists, progressive churches, students, union affiliates and especially women’s organizations and medical associations.

5. Lobby human rights organizations, development agencies, local and national politicians in your country, your governments, the European Parliament and the United Nations to pressure the Nicaraguan National Assembly (parliament) not to roll back our human rights with such a draconian and medieval law and to stop political persecution.

Please inform us of your actions in order to make visible support for our rights in the national media here.

We also need your help to prevent an electoral fraud which may turn this fundamentalist alliance into a new dictatorship in Nicaragua.

Helen Dixon \x{2013} helend@ibw.com.ni

Matagalpa, Nicaragua

Member of the Autonomous Women’s Movements (MAM) / Women’s Network of

Matagalpa

Nadine Jubb – nadinej@ibw.com.ni

Managua

Member of the Women’s Network against Violence

To support Nicaraguan women to defend their rights in this emergency situation. See below for other kinds of actions.

Please send faxed letters to the Executive of the National Assembly and the Justice Commission with a copy to the Autonomous Women’s Movement and the Women’s Network against Violence:

ma_mujeresnic@yahoo.es

redmcvincidencia@turbonett.com

Presidencia Junta Directiva (President of Executive) (505) 228-3030 Eduardo Gomez

Primera vicepresidencia (First Vice-president) (505) 228-3114 René Nuñez Téllez

Segunda vicepresidencia (Second VP) (505) 228-5076 Guillermo Osorno

3ra vicepresidencia (3rd VP) (505) 228-4086 Orlando Tardencilla

1ra Secretaría (505) 228-5789 María Auxiliadora Alemán Zeas

2da Secretaría (505) 222-5791 Eduardo Mena

3ra Secretaría (505) 222-5661 José Figueroa

Comisión Justicia (Justice Comission) ( 505) 228-2107 Noel Pereira Majano (President)

Address for written letters to above:

Asamblea Nacional de Nicaragua

Avenida Bolivar, Managua

Nicaragua

with copies to:

Movimiento Autonomo de Mujeres:

Apartado Postal 2109 – Correo Central

Managua, Nicaragua

and faxes to:

Women’s Network against Violence (Red de Mujeres contra la Violencia)

(505) 268-3095

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