Pregnant teen dies after abortion ban delays her chemo treatment for leukemia –


The mother of a pregnant leukemia patient who died after her chemotherapy was delayed over anti- abortion laws is accusing doctors of not putting her daughter’s health first.

The 16-year-old’s plight attracted worldwide attention after she had to wait for chemotherapy because of an abortion ban in the Dominican Republic.

Doctors were hesitant to give her chemotherapy because such treatment could terminate the pregnancy — a violation of the Dominican Constitution, which bans abortion. Some 20 days after she was admitted to the hospital, she finally started receiving treatment.

She died Friday, a hospital official said.

At the time the treatment started, Rosa Hernandez, the girl’s mother, said she tried to convince doctors and the Dominican government to make an exception so that her daughter’s life could be saved.

“My daughter’s life is first. I know that (abortion) is a sin and that it goes against the law … but my daughter’s health is first,” Hernandez said.

Written By: Rafael Romo
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  1. One more uneccessary name to add to the list of casualties of religion. I wonder if that list has reached the billions yet or merely still stuck in the 100,000,000s.

  2. Letting a girl die so as to not actively terminate a 13-week pregnancy?
    It is now their unwillingness to act that has killed the foetus along with the mother.

    Unfathomable sadness.

  3. Another story countering the charge; ” atheism has killed more people in the 20th century than religion has in all of it’s history. “

    This is the 21st century and the deaths keep piling up.

  4. This is very sad. It reminds me of Richard’s point that people think religion is just harmless nonsense. It’s not, it can be lethally dangerous nonsense. 

  5. So, to save the life of the child, they let the mother die, which kills the child. Only religious logic can figure that two deaths is less evil than one.

  6.  So, to save the life of the child, they let the mother die, which kills the child. Only religious logic can figure that two deaths is less evil than one.

    You miss the point.  Refusing chemotherapy for the mother is not about saving the child’s life it is about saving the mother’s soul.   In the delusional Catholic universe the mother’s soul will suffer eternal torment in hell if the chemotherapy is given.  


  7. I was horrified, though I suppose unsurprised, by this yet another senseless tragedy brought on by religious absolutism. Killing a teen by denying (or even just delaying) chemo that might have (and yes, even might not have) saved her life to protect a ~3 month fetus that was all but certainly dead when the mother died to cancer anyway… I’m at a loss for words to express how much that bit of evil disgusts me.

    I believe abortion is bad too. Better to choose to not create the life in the first place through good contraception… but the same sick ****s that want the mothers is this situation to just die also want to make it difficult or impossible for them to access and use contraception. “Just keep your knees together until married and it won’t be a problem,” they say, ignoring everything we know about animal/human behavior. We’re biologically hard-wired to have sex. Not surprising, since that hard-wiring promotes more offspring, and hence better fitness for the genes that promote sexual behavior. Telling kids to just deny their humanity clearly doesn’t work. A casual perusal of teen pregnancy statistics in the US leaves one with the distinct impression that if it weren’t for the “bible belt”, we could all but claim victory in the battle to prevent children from having children. Clearly their “tough love” attitude and absolutist ideology isn’t doing much to stop their kids from having stupidly risky sex, and I suspect it’s actually an an additional cause of said risky sex instead.

    I want to go on, but I think it’s time for me to go cool off before I say something over the top that I’ll regret later.

  8. Catholic Church and other “pro-lifers” should take responsibility of their actions, including death and torture they cause. 

  9. READ ALL ABOUT IT: Catholic church condemns mother with child to death!!!

    Sickening, truly sickening. The cancer that is catholicism strikes again.

  10.  It’s even more sad because the girl’s mother said “…I know abortion is a sin…”.

  11. According to Article 37 of the Dominican Constitution, “the right to life is inviolable from the moment of conception and until death.”
    Well, except of course when you are a filthy 16 year old sinner who had sex before marriage (or was she married?). There is no logic in the Dominican Republics laws. Letting the fetus live so the mother will die anyway. This reminds me of a case of a 7 year old girl who had been abused and got pregnant (I know, it sounds weird but strange things happen). The catholic church wouldn’t give permission to abort the fetus.

  12. “Article 37, passed in 2009, also abolished the death penalty.”

    That is, unless you are a pregnant woman whose treatment might interfere with your ability to carry the fetus to term.

  13. When we said all life is sacred, we didn’t mean the mother’s! 


  14. Primitive, hateful, contemptible, divisive, dangerous, dogmatic… … … The pope and the cardinals prey on the uneducated, poor people of the world. They keep the masses poor, uneducated, and in awe of primitive rituals led by ponced up overdressed virgins to keep their temporal power. Many of the actions of the catholic church must be criminal. Why do government allow these crimes against humanity go unpunished?

  15. What a stunning display of religious logic – if it’s a choice between the mother’s life and the fetus’ life – go with the fetus!  Yes, even though the mother will probably die before the baby is born, so it will die too.  The little whore can atone for her sins by suffering a slow, agonizing death, and even if her bastard child never sees the light of day, they’ll both go to heaven!  Makes perfect sense!
    Utterly contemptible display of the true values of Christianity – maximizing suffering in the name of Jesus.

  16. Where did you hear that? I heard about the 9 year old who was pregnant with twins, aborted them, and got excommunicated, but not about the 7 year old.

  17. I’m not so sure she has a case. (I’m talking about legality not morality) The doctors were going by the Dominican Republic law which outlaws abortion. 

  18. So, it’s okay to deny treatment, virtually guaranteeing that both mother and fetus will die?  But it’s not okay to terminate a nonviable fetus so an effort can be made to save the mother?  Oy vey!

  19. I think you’re right, but then again the mandate against abortion was derived from article 37 of the Dominican Constitution: “the right to life is inviolable from the moment of  conception and until death.” 

    Denying to administer the care that would keep the girl alive resulted in her death, and that of the fetus. Even if the fetus would have died from the chemo, a live would have been saved. And as far as I can tell from the article there is no law placing the fetus’ wellbeing over that of the mother. 

  20. The lunacy of the situation aside, what is the prognosis for leukaemia these days?

  21. Assuming acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (most common in kids) and favourable factors (essentially hoping that the abnormal clone is so mutated that once chemotherapy kills the vast majority of tumour cells, the immune system spots the remainder a mile off and finishes the job entirely), 5-year survival is better than 95% in the UK. As she was older than 9 years, she was at higher risk already.
    (Yes, it’s an American site – they use different protocols but the numbers mentioned aren’t too different)

    Interestingly, the original CNN article quotes an ‘architect’ of Article 37, Pelegrin Castillo, as saying there is no problem treating her as long as they didn’t actively perform an abortion.

    So they either wasted, or were forced to waste time in committee before getting on with treatment despite this theoretical provision. I wonder if they felt that someone would construe treating as a method of abortion regardless?

  22. They violated the girl’s “right to life,” which, according to their law is equally important as that of the fetus they were trying to “save.” I don’t know what their law says on medical malpractice and discrimination, but perhaps someone familiar with it can work out what can be done?

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