The Pregnant Teen Cancer Patient Who Couldn't Get Chemo — Or an Abortion — Is Dead

Illustration for article titled The Pregnant Teen Cancer Patient Who Couldnt Get Chemo — Or an Abortion — Is Dead

The pregnant Dominican teenager who had to wait twenty days to start receiving chemotherapy for her acute leukemia because of her country's draconian anti-abortion laws has died.

The anonymous teen was 16 years old and only nine weeks pregnant when the controversy began. Her plight gained attention over the last few weeks as doctors debated whether it was morally correct to start treating her cancer, given as Article 37 of the Dominican Constitution states that "the right to life is inviolable from the moment of conception and until death." It took doctors and the Dominican government a full 20 days to decide that God and Country might care about the actually living mother's life, too, not just the fetus inside of her, and allow the treatment. By then, it was too late.


Would the girl still be alive if doctors had started treatment earlier? We'll never know. But maybe next time they won't have to make an already tragic situation even more horrible for everyone involved. When the chemo started, Rosa Hernandez, the girl's mother, said she knew abortion was wrong but that she was glad she had finally convinced everyone to prioritize her daughter. "My daughter's life is first," she said. "I know that (abortion) is a sin and that it goes against the law ... but my daughter's health is first." In the end, it was just first-ish.

Pregnant Dominican teen at center of abortion debate dies [CNN]

Here's video from when this story was covered earlier:

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This will do nothing to sway people from being antichoice. They'll just say, "She should have thought about that before she had sex gotten pregnant!" As demonstrated by this poor girl, these laws aren't designed to protect life. They are just there to punish women for having sex.