Case in point:
Nicaragua's total ban on abortion is a violation of human rights and is killing a growing number of women and children, Amnesty International said Monday in launching a campaign to have the measure repealed.
In a report released in Mexico City, the international human rights organization said Nicaragua's law, which went into effect in late 2006, puts the Central American country among the 3% of the world's nations that do not allow abortion under any circumstance.
Citing statistics from the Nicaraguan Health Ministry, the report says 33 women and girls died from pregnancy complications in the first 19 weeks of this year, compared with 20 in the same period last year. It also says the real numbers are probably much higher.
Nicaragua has one of Latin America's highest rates of sexual violence, with the abuse often perpetrated by fathers, uncles or other relatives.
At least 50% of reported rapes are of girls under the age of 18, and most of those who get pregnant are under 15, the report says.
Women and girls who have been impregnated by rapists or whose lives or health is at risk are not allowed to abort.