Right to abortion in Cuba under attack by counter-revolutionaries
Abortion rights demonstrators march during a Global Day of Action for access to legal, safe, and free abortion in Santiago, Chile. As women fight for greater access to reproductive health around the world, counter-revolutionary forces are trying to reverse women's health achievements in Cuba. | Esteban Felix / AP

In 1961, after the triumph of the revolution, Cuba became the first country in Latin America and the Caribbean to decriminalize abortion. But the right to abortion, as a historical victory of Cuban women, is under attack by the counter-revolution and its media, using the most outrageous lies.

In the 1950s, the practice of abortion in Cuba was similar to that of many countries in that region today: While for high society women it was performed safely and confidentially, poor women died. The number of maternal deaths from unsafe abortions was more than 60 per 100,000 births, something that, in a few years after the revolution, was reduced to almost zero.

Today, abortion is practiced under three principles: The decision belongs exclusively to the woman, it is performed in public hospitals by specialized personnel, and it is absolutely free. It only becomes a crime when it is performed for profit, without the woman’s consent, or in conditions that may threaten her health or life.

“Abortion in Cuba is as easy as ‘pulling teeth,’” was the shocking headline of a report in the Spanish newspaper ABC, written by Camila Acosta, a Cuban mercenary journalist. Acosta receives part of her contributions, which she offers to the newspaper Cubanet, from U.S. federal funds.

She cites as her source well-known “dissidents,” today living outside the island. For example, Óscar Elías Biscet, a Cuban ex-prisoner and anti-abortion doctor, whom ABC presents as a “devout Christian” and “human rights activist.” Biscet claims that in order to keep the infant mortality rate low pressure is put on “women with supposedly problematic pregnancies to interrupt them, often just before delivery.”

Even more outrageously, another source, María Werlau, daughter of one of the invaders killed at the Bay of Pigs and today director of the Cuba Archive in Miami, asserts that women “with high-risk pregnancies are systematically pressured (…) to have abortions” so that “their fetuses can be used in experiments and transplants,” hiding a network of international trafficking of human organs and tissues.

The counterrevolution, together with certain religious groups on the island, are trying to put an end to the sexual and reproductive rights won by Cuban women, as they tried to do in 2021 with the new Family Code, which protects family diversity, egalitarian marriage, and many other rights.

For this, they use the most aberrant and monstrous lies, spread by the international media scoundrels.

Cuba en Resumen


José Manzaneda
José Manzaneda

Periodista. Vive en el País Vasco y es el director de la webtv Cuba Información. Journalist. He lives in the Basque Country and is the director of the Cuba Information webtv.