FRANCE – The Simone-de-Beauvoir Prize 2019 has gone to Salvadoran Sara García Gross, for her work for the right to abortion

Sara García Gross has been advocating for the right of women to decide what to do with their bodies for a decade now, in a country where the anti-abortion legislation is among the most restrictive in the world. The award will be presented at the Maison de l’Amérique latine in Paris. It was created in 2008 on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Simone de Beauvoir in order to “help mobilise international solidarity, reaffirm … Continued

EL SALVADOR- Imelda Cortez freed after 18 months in prison and repeated delays in hearing her case

Imelda Cortez had been detained without trial in San Miguel prison since April 2017. As we reported on 20 November, Imelda gave birth in the latrine of her home that month. She said she had not known she was pregnant. Bleeding heavily, she was taken to the National Hospital of Jiquilisco, where she was arrested and accused of miscarriage. A day later, the Prosecutor’s Office changed the offence to “aggravated homicide”, which can receive a sentence of … Continued

SOLIDARITY REQUEST: EL SALVADOR – Recursos Acción Global #SalvemosAImelda

From 29 November, Las 17, the Salvadoran group who are working to free all women in prison because of pregnancy, have begun a tweetathon. They are asking everyone to send messages via Twitter to the Fiscalía (Prosecutor) in El Salvador calling for her freedom and all charges to be dropped. Contact: @FGR_SV

EL SALVADOR – Physicians’ challenges under El Salvador’s criminal abortion prohibition

El Salvador’s abortion law is actively enforced, which undermines the ethical duties of physicians and the standing of the medical profession. Under the law, physicians are incited to disclose patients’ confidential medical information in violation of their ethical duties, making public health care facilities sites of criminal investigation.

EL SALVADOR – Interview with Sara García Gross: « In El Salvador, when a woman falls pregnant, she loses her right to life. » 

  El Salvador is ruled by what began as a leftist party and over the years has passed a series of policies in support of women’s rights. But on the subject of abortion there has always been silence. Although they were the first party to introduce an abortion law reform bill after 20 years in power, they then postponed the debate with the excuse of introducing other priority issues, which shows that fundamentalist pressure on … Continued

EL SALVADOR – 20-year-old faces prison after giving birth to her stepfather’s baby in a latrine

A year ago today, Imelda gave birth in the latrine at her family’s small, one-room home with curtains for dividers in a small community. She said she did not know she was about to give birth; instead, she told her lawyer, she “felt something come loose”. She screamed for help, fainted and started to haemorrhage. Her mother took her to the local public hospital, where they saw that she had given birth. She was pregnant, she … Continued

EL SALVADOR – Freed after 15 years in jail

 A 34-year-old woman in El Salvador has been freed after spending 15 years in jail for having a miscarriage. Maira Verónica Figueroa Marroquín was released after her 30-year sentence for aggravated homicide was commuted. Ms Figueroa always maintained her innocence. She said she suffered a stillbirth in a house where she was working as a maid in 2003. She was taken to hospital, arrested and eventually sentenced for inducing an abortion. Her parents, as well … Continued

NAMIBIA, EL SALVADOR, USA – Why are so many women being prosecuted for miscarriages and stillbirth?

On 6 February, we reported the case of a woman from Namibia who was charged with murder, allegedly for using abortion pills to induce the termination her pregnancy, which was described as being in the last stage. The original media report said that the woman was taken to hospital because she was in great abdominal pain. It was then noticed that she was in labour. The report goes on: “…the nurses on duty while examining … Continued

EL SALVADOR – Supreme Court commutes 30-year sentence of Teodora del Carmen Vásquez 

Teodora del Carmen Vásquez was a cook in a school cafeteria. Nine months pregnant, on 13 July 2007, she was serving lunch when she had sudden terrible pains. She tried to call the emergency services many times, who never came, and finally went to the toilet with blood running down her legs, and fell unconscious. When she awoke, she was surrounded by police, who accused her of asphyxiating the baby she had lost. She was detained … Continued

EL SALVADOR – Salvadoran court rejects appeal of Teodora Vasquez

A woman in El Salvador who has an abortion, a stillbirth, or a miscarriage can face up to 50 years in prison, charged with aggravated homicide by police and a judiciary who do not seem to see any difference between these three outcomes of pregnancy. Teodora Vasquez, age 37, has served ten years out of a total 30-year prison sentence, charged with aggravated murder. Vasquez suffered a stillbirth in July 2007 during her ninth month … Continued

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