The large majority of Dominicans are in favor of abortion under three circumstances

According to the results of a National Survey we conducted and published today in Santo Domingo, a large majority of Dominicans are in favor of decriminalizing abortion when a woman’s life or health is at risk, in the case of a non-viable pregnancy as well as when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

The majority (79%) of the survey respondents supports the decriminalization of abortion when a woman’s life or health is at risk; 76% when the pregnancy is non-viable, in other words, when there is no possibility of the fetus surviving outside the uterus; and 67% when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

The survey, which involved a representative sample of men and women, 18 and older, also revealed political sympathy in the population surveyed in regards to their position on the issue. 41.1% of these respondents expressed affiliation with the Dominican Liberation Party, PLD (Partido de la Liberación Dominicana), 13.3% with the Modern Revolutionary Party, PRM (Partido Revolucionario Moderno), 7.5% with the Dominican Revolutionary Party, PRD (Partido Revolucionario Dominicano), 3.9% with other political parties and 34% expressed no political affiliation. 

In a press conference, where Untold presented the results, highlights revealed that the greatest support for abortion decriminalization in these three circumstances is found among PLD sympathizers, with 81% approval rate in at least one of the circumstances for abortion. Nonetheless, it is proven that independent of political affiliation, Dominicans highly agree with modifying the Penal Code in regards to decriminalization of abortion under specific circumstances.

The research also shows that the younger population is more open to agreeing to the interruption of a pregnancy under any of the exceptions mentioned above. The same results were found among high school graduates.

It was also highlighted that most of the Catholic population surveyed expressed their support of these three exceptions. 79% of Catholics surveyed agree with life or health circumstances, 76% with non-viability circumstances and 66% with rape or incest circumstances. 

The survey was conducted with a sample of 2,016 people drawn from the Dominican Republic Report “Estimates and Projections” on the adult population for the 2018 calendar year, generated by the National Statistics Office (ONE).

The issue of abortion is very controversial in the Dominican Republic, where it has been under discussion in recent years, as the National Congress (bicameral) has voted against decriminalizing it, while the Executive Branch has vetoed the law on a couple of occasions, appealing to the three main exceptions.

Churches, leaders of political parties and most legislators favor penalizing abortion in all its forms, but Dominican President Danilo Medina, civil society organizations and feminist groups, as well as some congressmen, insist on defending decriminalization in those three circumstances.

Sergia Galván, Mónica Sánchez y Kate Vasiloff

Sergia Galván, Mónica Sánchez y Kate Vasiloff