The National Congress of Honduras Thursday voted in favor of constitutional reforms that make it difficult to reverse provisions preventing the legalization of abortion and same-sex marriage.
Of the 128 members of Congress, 88 voted in favor of the reforms, 28 opposed and seven abstained. They will have to be ratified in a second session. If ratified, amendments to the provisions granting legal personhood to fetuses and restricting same-sex marriages will require three-quarters majority.
At present, in addition to Honduran women who undergo abortions, persons involved also face up to six years in prison. Existing laws also prohibit the “use, sale, distribution, and purchase of emergency contraception, carrying the same imprisonment penalties as abortion.”
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has estimated the number of Honduran women and girls undergoing unsafe abortions each year to be between 51,000 and 82,000, and said that “lack of accessibility of contraception, particularly in rural areas, which, together with the prohibition of emergency contraception, contributes to a high rate of unwanted pregnancy, including adolescent pregnancy.”