Daily Edition: San José, Costa Rica, October 27, 2006
Nicaragua Criminalizes Abortion
Voces del Mundo
National Symphony Orchestra Concert
“Bananasaur” -- Myths of Costa Rica with a twist
Last chance to vote in the US elections.
Edited By Amanda Roberson
By Tim Rogers
Nicaragua's Legislative Assembly yesterday capitulated to strong pressure from the religious right by criminalizing all forms of abortion with jail sentences of up to eight years for women and doctors.
With the support of 52 Sandinista and Liberal lawmakers, the legislature reversed a 100-year-old law allowing women to have abortions in instances when their life is deemed at risk, or to terminate pregnancies caused by rape or incest.
The criminalization of so-called “therapeutic abortion” makes Nicaragua one of less than a dozen countries in the world to outlaw abortions to save a woman's life.
The campaign to criminalize abortion was pushed by the Catholic Church and Evangelical churches, which took advantage of the upcoming election to pressure politicians into passing the law.
The move has been blasted by feminist organizations, as well as the United Nations, the European Union and more than a dozen international rights groups.
The nonprofit Save the Children International has noted that Nicaragua has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in Latin America and that many of these pregnancies are a result of rape or incest. Reversing the law on therapeutic abortion negates the rights of these and other women, the group argues.
By Amanda Roberson
Busloads of schoolchildren visited the National Children's Museum in San José yesterday to celebrate World Food Day, an occasion declared by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to call attention to the role of nutrition in combating poverty worldwide.
“Agriculture may have become a minor player in many industrialized economies, but it must play a starring role on the world stage if we are to bring down the curtain on hunger,” says a statement on FAO's Web site.
The day was officially celebrated Oct. 16, but several organizations in Costa Rica banded together to plan activities for yesterday, explained Anthony García, coordinator of the Sustainable Schools Project, an effort to bring organic food to school lunchrooms (TT, Sept. 1).
Schools that participate in the program, including República de Haiti, in San José's Paso Ancho; Idelfonso Camacho de la Lengua, in Aserrí, south of San José; and Green Valley and Rincón Grande, both in Pavas, west of San José.
About 100 children gathered in one of the museum's sunny, open rooms to listen to the words of Osvaldo Pandolfo, Vice-Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports, and Health Ministry advisor Edgar García, who inaugurated the event.
The students were then able to peruse activity tables set up by organizations including the Center for Rural Development and the Universidad Nacional's (UNA) Tropical Beekeeping Research Center in Heredia, north of San José, according to the statement.
Finally, they released balloons full of seeds into the air to symbolize the growth of nutrient-rich plants.
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