After its Supreme Court ruled to uphold an absolute ban on emergency contraception, Honduras will have the strictest ban on emergency contraception in the world. The law will criminalize the sale, use and distribution of the emergency contraception (“the morning after pill”). The penalties could be as extreme as the punishments for abortion in Honduras, three to six years in prison for those seeking abortion and three to ten years imprisonment for those performing them. In a country where it is extremely difficult for many to procure birth control for regular use and where those seeking and providing abortions face harsh penalties, this decision to deny reproductive rights to women is particularly devastating.
Since the law was passed by the Honduran Congress in 2009, the Center for Reproductive Rights (an Overbrook Grantee) has fought this legal ban in Honduran courts in partnership with other local and international women’s rights groups. This decision leads us to reaffirm The Overbrook Foundation's commitment to advancing reproductive rights and gender rights in Latin America. It also reminds us of the importance of the Center for Reproductive Rights and other organizations as they continue to fight an uphill battle to advance human rights for all women and to overturn policies that harm women’s health and lives.
To learn more about this law and the negative consequences of its implementation, please read the press release from the Center for Reproductive Rights. A blog post on RH Reality Check also builds on this press release to contextualize this decision by explaining how important these services are in Honduras, which has a high poverty rate and the highest adolescent birthrate in Central America.