By KIRTHANA SASITHARAN, HÜRRIYET DAILY NEWS
The World Conference on Women has made strong developments in swaying countries to see the importance of moving forward with women’s issues.
A question directed towards the delegate of Nicaragua asked the delegate what Nicaragua’s stance on abortion would be now that the Zika virus was considered an epidemic in Latin America and the fact that Zika can be transported through sexual activity. Upon Nicaragua’s immediate response, the delegate was quick to state that abortion is illegal and Nicaragua criminalizes abortion, but did say he would “consider” making abortion legal if the woman’s life was at stake, in this specific case.
To continue on this debate of making abortion legal in Latin America, the issues of religion came into play, as Latin America is a prominently Roman Catholic region. As such, this religion prohibits abortion. Delegates from various other Latin American countries were asked to speak on whether they would consider making abortion legal. The delegate from Chile took the initiative to speak on this by stating that “when we are talking about cases such as the Zika virus, the virus makes your baby born with microcephaly and this deformation makes [woman] bleed out. This is definitely a risk and we as the World Conference on Women and along with the World Health organization must emphasize that women’s lives must not be put at risk… in this way abortion can take a legal stance.”
The delegate from Chile clarified that the life of the mother is at stake only when the baby has a deformation, which can result the death of the mother.
It was the delegate from Mexico that strongly sided with the legalization of abortion. The Mexican delegate said, “abortion is legal in Mexico” and claimed that especially in this case, it is a very important issue.
The tables then turned to address China about their recent lift on the one child policy as it had previously been thought to limit the reproductive freedoms of women in China. When asked what the future steps were for China, the delegate responded by saying that an increase in consumer economy and an increasingly globalized consumer base moves China in a more progressive direction in terms of bodily autonomy and women’s reproductive rights as well.
The World Conference on Women continues to move well as they begin discourse on their working papers. Mergers are in talks, yet nothing is confirmed. The progression of this team claims to be moving in the right direction, through diplomatic means.