Larissa Arroyo: “The Figure of Unpunished Abortion in Costa Rica Must Change”

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    In the light of the demonstrations on September 28th for the “Global Day of Action for Legal and Safe Abortion”, slogans re-flourished in the country to give this right to women, as well as the proposal of a bill.

    This project, promoted by the organization “Aborto Legal Costa Rica”, would reach the Legislative Assembly, in order to decriminalize the figure of abortion in Costa Rica and expand the scenarios among which women can safely resort to this medical practice. Larissa Arroyo, lawyer and activist from the AsociaciónCiudadana ACIRSE, said that the possibility that a project of this type could reach the National Assembly.

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    What do you think of the possibility of decriminalizing abortion?

    “There is a difference between legalizing abortion and decriminalizing it. In Costa Rica it is allowed, by an exception, when there is danger to the life or health of the woman”.

    “However, even if it is allowed, it continues to be considered a crime, that is why it is called unpunished abortion, since, although there is the commission of a crime in the act of abortion, the exceptions allow that there is no penalty”.

    “In this scenario, I ask myself: How is it possible that something that a woman is doing to save her life is considered a crime? And that is where a legislative reform is needed, to change that figure”.

    How feasible do you see passing a legalization project and what exceptions would it cover to apply abortions?

    “I understand that this project does not speak of unlimited access to abortion or without any type of restriction, but rather that it establishes a limit of weeks and eliminates the proof of abortion, to promote legalization. Thus, abortion not only does not cease to be a crime, but it becomes legal and the State must ensure it”.

    With regard to the therapeutic standard, do you consider that the country has been complied with in its application?

    “The problem is that the State has not adequately promoted the therapeutic standard.Due to this, there may be misinformation and women do not request the procedure because they do not know of its existence. It is something that, although the Government approved it, it has been kept very quiet”.

    Resonance Costa Rica

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