[Marxism] Abortion under the Sandinista Revolution (was Ahmadinejad, an Islamic Feminist)

Michael Hoover mhhoover at gmail.com
Fri Jul 21 16:41:22 MDT 2006

On 7/21/06, Yoshie Furuhashi <critical.montages at gmail.com> wrote:
 > <blockquote>Despite symbolic pledges to gender equality, the FSLN was
> fast becoming restrained in its ability to enact its progressive
> platform. Reproductive rights and low-cost contraceptives in
> particular became major demands of women actively involved in the
> Nicaraguan women's movement. Such activism was primarily enacted
> through AMNLAE. In particular, despite the progressive reformist
> rhetoric of the FSLN on contraceptives and sex education, abortion
> remained an extremely controversial issue.
> (Emily S. Mann, "Familialism in Nicaragua: Reproductive and Sexual
> Policy Regimes, 1979-200,"
> <http://www.northwestern.edu/rc19/Mann.pdf>)</blockquote>
> Yoshie

Catholicism's traditional attitudes about the family had a significant
influence on much of the FSLN. Moreover, even those Sandinista leaders
supportive of reproductive rights for women were quite reluctant to
confront the Church on this issue. While AMNLAE's leaders privately
favored free abortion upon demand, they were unwilling to initiate
public discussion because they believed the issue's "time" had not yet
come. Result was that the anti-abortion law enacted under Somoza
remained in place.

About 5 years would pass before the pages of Barricada included
articles about abortion. Among other things, the stories documented
the extent to which women opted for illegally performed and
self-induced abortions as well as dangers to the health, fertility and
very lives of these women. The newspaper articles had essentially no
impact upon the government's abortion policy. Rather, their principal
contribution was to "open up" discussion about the need to introduce a
sex education program (eventually established). Prior to the Barricada
series, the FSLN had not only been silent about abortion, it also did
not have a formal/official position on family planning. In fact,
Sandinista leaders by and large considered increasing the birthrate to
be an important part of Nicaragua's development.   Michael Hoover

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