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EC Banned in Honduras

April 12, 2009

In a disturbing setback for women’s health and rights, the Honduran Congress last week approved a bill to prohibit entirely the use, promotion, sale, or purchase of Emergency Contraception (EC).  Under the Penal Code, the “crime” of using/selling/promoting EC  will now be on par with that of procuring/performing an abortion — which is severely restricted in the country.

Apparently the President has not yet signed the bill, so there is hope for some sliver of reason to be heard before it’s final.  Right now there’s not much more news than this.  The International Consortium for Emergency Contraception sent out an alert to its members last week, and I’ll provide any updates as I get them. But I’m guessing that Congress’ ban has a lot to do with the common misunderstanding that EC is an abortifacient.  Kids, this is why its never good to form policy decisions on ideology.  That’s my gem of wisdom for the day.

All of the anti-choice blogs and news sites documenting this update are riddled with pseudo-science and just plain wrong facts.  I can’t even bear to link to them here, but trust me it’s not pretty.  Instead, I would direct all dissenters to this pithy explanation, or this one, or this one.  When it comes to EC, as far as I’m concerned, there’s no debate.  It does not abort a pregnancy, it prevents one.  That’s it, no questions.  And I think prevention is something that we should all be agreeing on at this point.

J. Mack is a global feminist residing in Brooklyn.

9 Comments
  1. Kathy Jo Keever permalink
    April 25, 2009 7:48 am

    Once again, it’s government trying to tell a woman what she can and can’t do. Women “stand up and be heard” The end of the article is correct, EC does not abort a pregnancy, it prevents one. As the author says, get the facts, don’t listen to someone who is hysterical, listen to the science.

  2. María permalink
    April 25, 2009 10:15 am

    Central American nations do not get it! These governments still think that the emergency contraception induces an abortion. El Salvador is the worst case scenario as it bans abortion under any circumstance and probably also EC. Women need access to Emergency Contraception! Let’s continue to put pressure on these governments!

  3. frances seidman permalink
    April 25, 2009 1:30 pm

    Men don’t love and nuture children–they hate and want to own women. Any man–or reasonable woman, for that matter, should realize that a wanted, cared for, and nutured child has a chance to grow up to be a healthy, contributing adult. An unwanted child, whose parent can’t provide for his or her needs, very often becomes destructive to a family, and to a community. Birth control is no longer my issue, but I would love to see younger women taking charge of their own bodies and lives. We should be teaching the lesson of Lysastrata, and treating irresponsible men as assailants.
    We allow the myth that women are wild about any and all sex to continue,unchallenged, and we are way too easy on the clods who think they are proving something by bringing into the world children they will never take care of.
    The term “irresponsible men” includes the religious fanatics and inane legislators, who are as responsible as the sexual perpetrators. They are also assailants on the rights of women.

    • Ross permalink
      May 1, 2009 3:40 pm

      It seems that the use of contraceptives might add to the problem of unwanted children, simply because the mentality has (for many people)changed such that children are now seen as a burden that should be avoided, or, if that fails, aborted. I don’t see how contraceptives help to solve the problem of men lording over women, since it simply makes it easier for the men to “use and drop” her instead of love, protect, and appreciate a woman for who she really is.

  4. Susie permalink
    April 25, 2009 2:52 pm

    Men don’t love and nuture children–they hate and want to own women.

    Inflammatory statements like this don’t help our cause. Many men do love and nurture children. Most men don’t hate and want to own women. They, like many women, are betrayed by a culture that teaches them that gender inequality is “natural” and right, and overcoming these cultural messages is difficult. If we want any chance at changing their thinking, we need to start by not demonizing them. Otherwise, we’re not much different from the people on the right who demonize us.

  5. oscar permalink
    April 26, 2009 12:09 am

    Yeah, I was surprised about this. I am currently here in Honduras and the news barely made a ripple, “Its what should be” according to the majority. Dont hope so much for a reversal, this crazy president of ours (Mel Zelaya) can do crazy things, then again, he might just do the unexpected….

  6. April 26, 2009 9:20 pm

    I agree that demonizing men is pointless, however, setting boundaries on their unwanted behaviors is absolutely mandatory. Most men and even women (in most countries and faiths), that God is male. How much more obviously biased we be? And now, China has a glut of MEN because of aborting only females!!! All Frances is asking for is better discernment among women, consciousness of the obvious mistreatments and a halt to them. No more doormats. Frances~ You go, girl!

  7. April 26, 2009 9:22 pm

    ****believe that God is Male….how much more biased can we be?

  8. A. Strongin permalink
    April 27, 2009 10:23 am

    I think this is totally outrageous to deny any woman the right to EC. This is PREVENTION not ABORTION. What don’t you get regarding this issue? Who are you to tell any woman what she can or cannot do with her body?

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