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

UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS – UN High Commissioner calls on El Salvador to stop jailing women for obstetric emergencies

  Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement on 17 November that El Salvador should apply a moratorium on laws that punish women with harsh jail terms for having an abortion while it reviews cases of those already incarcerated. He spent part of his two-day trip to the country meeting with women imprisoned for the crime of “aggravated homicide” due to what he described as obstetric … Continued

EL SALVADOR – Beatriz, who brought El Salvador’s abortion ban to the world stage in 2013, has died following a motorcycle accident

    “Beatriz was our friend, a warrior, who never stopped fighting for her life,” said the Agrupación Ciudadana por la Despenalización del Aborto, in a statement. Beatriz Garcia, whose fight against El Salvador’s draconian prohibitions on abortion moved the country – and the world – in 2013, died on 8 October from complications after a motorcycle accident a few days earlier. “Beatriz” had struggled to terminate a life-threatening pregnancy in 2013; she suffered from … Continued

EL SALVADOR – Appeal to acquit Evelyn Hernandez and annul her 30-year sentence

  The defence lawyers of Evelyn Hernandez presented an appeal to the court on 28 August to annul the 30-year prison sentence handed down on July 5, acquit her of any crime and order her immediate release.   The appeal is based on the argument that the judge did not take into account that the scientific evidence presented and the testimony of the expert witnesses during the trial did not allow the court to establish … Continued

EL SALVADOR – In spite of anti-abortion opposition, two abortion law reform bills under consideration

  El Salvador’s absolute ban on abortion is facing its greatest challenge in years. Buoyed by shifting public attitudes, reproductive rights activists are making headway on a bill to reform the law for victims of rape and human trafficking, women carrying non-viable pregnancies, and to protect women’s life and health. Support for keeping the ban is also formidable – and The Guardian reported in July 2017 that they may have an outside source of anti-abortion … Continued

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