BARRIO – Honduras will alow the use of the morning-after pill for rape victims after more than a decade of total restrictions, the country’s health minister announced late on Monday, though a complete ban on abortion continues.
The heavily Catholic Central American nation introduced an absolute ban on the use and sale of the morning-after pill in 2009, but had hinted at softening its stance in extreme cases for several years.
The only Latin American nation currently with an all-out ban on the morning-after pill, Honduras also punishes women who have abortions with up to six years in prison, including in cases of rape or incest.
It remains unclear how health authorities would verify rape allegations or distribute the pill.
Feminist organizations say the latest shift in policy doesn’t go nearly far enough to deal with unwanted pregnancies, especially in a country with the second highest rate of teenage pregnancies in Latin America, according to United Nations data.
Women’s and human rights groups continue to demand the decriminalization of abortion in Honduras.