When I was very young I read a book set in Ireland. The heroine's mother got pregnant, became ill and was allowed to die even though her life could have been saved by an abortion. The heroine was left an orphan. That substory stuck to my mind as an example of how horrible life once used to be. But change is not always an arc of justice nor is progress linear. Now women in Nicaragua can really live the story of the novel. Or rather die it:
A Nicaraguan parliamentary committee has approved draft legislation to ban all abortions, including in cases where the mother's life is at risk.
The legislation will now be debated at a national assembly hearing before a final vote next week.
If the law is passed, doctors carrying out abortions could face up to 30 years in prison.
At present, abortion is only permitted in Nicaragua in instances where the life of the mother is in danger.
The call for a complete ban has mainly come from the Roman Catholic and evangelical churches.
The bill - which is widely expected to be approved - has come amid campaigning for the country's presidential election in November.
A woman's life is worth less than an embryo or a fetus, and a rape is allowed to kill her if she gets ill while pregnant from the rape. And this is what churches want.
Imagine similar diligence in other fields of life. Fathers would be given thirty years in prison for smoking in the same room as their children, for example. Or a parent refusing to donate a kidney to a child who desperately needs it would be beheaded. Well, we can't imagine such diligence as adults in general are not viewed as dispensable as paper cups.