Dominican teen denied life-saving chemotherapy because she's pregnant--but she can't get an abortion either!
Can you imagine being 16 years old and told that you're not only 9 weeks pregnant but that you also have acute leukemia and will die if you don't start chemotherapy right away?
That's what is happening with Esperanza, a teenage girl living in the Dominican Republic. She needs to begin chemo AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, but is being denied the life-saving treatment because of the damage that the radiation can cause to her unborn fetus. However, she's also not being allowed to make the extremely difficult choice to get an abortion, either, all because her country banned all abortions in 2010.
Read more ¿Qué más? My mom had an abortion and I still love her
Although my mom had an abortion (and I still love her), I know that this is a difficult decision for anybody. The one place where I really think the choice has to get simpler is when it comes down to your life or your child's life. Or, really, your unborn child's life because, let's be honest, in the case of a teen with cancer, the chances of this baby actually coming to term are slim to none. More than likely, mother and fetus will die well before anyone can do anything to save either of them.
So what's the government in the DR doing? Apparently they're sticking by what they said and not allowing this abortion, even though the pregnancy is causing the mother's life to be in danger. I mean, the young woman needs CHEMOTHERAPY! I don't think there's a worse danger than that when it comes to your life. I'm sure in a perfect world she would be able to save herself and her potential child, but unfortunately that's not the world that Esperanza is currently living in.
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Meanwhile, a group called the Feminist Forum is saying that all of this waiting around for the government to change their minds is a waste of time. They tell Fox News, as reported by Jezebel:
The time wasted could mark the difference between life and death for this young woman. What are you waiting for? Esperanza's case will be repeated time after time until the legal regulations are changed that allow this kind of situation to arise.
My heart goes out to this girl and her suffering family. I hope that soon--VERY soon--she'll be allowed to get that abortion and start chemotherapy. This is obviously one of those extreme cases in which the government really needs to change their minds, immediately.
Do you think that the Dominican Republic government should allow Esperanza to get an abortion so that she can start chemotherapy? Share with us in the comments below!
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