Dominican Republic: Abortion Law


Abortion is illegal. Exception to save a woman's life is made under specific circumstances.

Abortion Law in the Dominican Republic


In short, the New Penal Code (2014), Articles 107-110, states:

Abortion is a crime punishable with imprisonment from two to three years. Attempted abortion which causes an injury or illness that severely harms the fetus, modifies its normal development or causes it severe physic defect or psychic one, is sanctioned. The punishment worsens for doctors and health professionals, from four to ten years. The punishment worsens in case of death of the woman, from ten to twenty years. Abortion practiced by medical personnel is not punishable, "if all available scientific and technical means are exhausted to save two lives, as far as possible". The discussion about abortion in cases of "rape, incest or malformations of the embryo originated is clinically proven to be incompatible with life" is postponed, as this will be regulated by a special law.



Penal Code of 1948

The Penal Code of 1948 (section 317), which was based on the French Napoleonic Code of 1832, prohibited the performance of all abortions.  Under the general principles of criminal legislation, however, abortion is permitted to save the life of the pregnant woman on grounds of necessity.  Thus, in practice, both the legal and medical professions consider abortion performed to save the life of the woman to be legal in the Dominican Republic.

Persons who perform an illegal abortion are subject to imprisonment for an unspecified term, as are women who cause their own abortions or consent to an abortion. Any person who puts a pregnant woman in contact with another person for the purpose of abortion is subject to six months to two years in prison, so long as the abortion is performed

The incidence of induced abortion is high in the Dominican Republic. The number of induced abortions was estimated to be about 82,000 in the beginning of the 1990s. 

(*Information above has been retrieved from the official UN website. Full text can be found here.)