Salvadoran woman jailed for ‘abortion’ pleads for freedom

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Salvadoran woman jailed for 'abortion' pleads for freedom
Carlos Mario Marquez, Agence France-Presse

Posted at Dec 09 2017

SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR - A Salvadoran woman jailed for 30 years for a miscarriage deemed to be an illegal abortion on Friday pleaded for her freedom before a court revising her sentence.

"I am paying for a crime I didn't commit," Teodora Vasquez, 34, told the tribunal in San Salvador.

Judges hearing the matter adjourned the hearing until next Wednesday.

Continued at source: http://news.abs-cbn.com/overseas/12/09/17/salvadoran-woman-jailed-for-abortion-pleads-for-freedom

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UN Calls on El Salvador to Stop Jailing Women for Abortion

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UN Calls on El Salvador to Stop Jailing Women for Abortion
November 17, 2017

SAN SALVADOR —
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 in the socially conservative Central American country, a top U.N. official said Friday.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement he spent part of his two-day trip meeting with women imprisoned for the crime of "aggravated homicide" due to what he described as obstetric emergencies.

Continued at source: https://www.voanews.com/a/un-calls-on-el-salvador-to-stop-jailing-women-for-abortion-/4122213.html

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Does it Matter if Abortion Is Legal?

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Does it Matter if Abortion Is Legal?
A new book warns that even with Roe v. Wade intact, the procedure is still effectively banned in some places.

By Rebecca Grant
November 8, 2017

In 2013, 22-year old Beatriz Garcia found herself in the middle of the global abortion debate, a symbol and a lightning rod for what happens when a woman who lives in a country with a total abortion ban faces a life-threatening pregnancy.
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Michelle Oberman, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, opens her new book Her Body, Our Laws: On the Front Lines of the Abortion Wars, From El Salvador to Oklahoma, with Beatriz’s story. The case gives grounding to this ambitious book, which looks at the effects of abortion restrictions in Latin America and the United States. Oberman has spent her career studying the murky ethical waters of pregnancy and motherhood. She’s done research about pregnant women who abuse drugs and written two books about mothers who have killed their children. Her mission with this book is not to argue whether or not abortion should be legal, but to interrogate the impact of laws that restrict it.

Continued at source: https://newrepublic.com/article/145700/matter-abortion-legal

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El Salvador’s FMLN Backs Women’s Group Reforms on Abortion Ban

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El Salvador's FMLN Backs Women's Group Reforms on Abortion Ban

Published 1 November 2017
by Roberto Hernández Montoya

The current Article 133 of the Penal Code punishes women with up to 40 years in prison for undergoing an abortion.

Women's groups have presented reforms to the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly to push for the decriminalization of abortion in four cases, which was backed by FMLN lawmakers.

"We come before the deputies because it is urgent to approve a reform to decriminalize abortion when the life of the woman is in danger, and for other reasons," Margarita Posada, from the board of the Alliance for Women’s Life and Health in the Americas, told AFP.

Continued at source: https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/El-Salvadors-FMLN-Backs-Womens-Group-Reforms-on-Abortion-Ban-20171101-0020.html

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Abortion ban in El Salvador has women fearful of miscarriage

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Abortion ban in El Salvador has women fearful of miscarriage

Published October 14, 2017

In El Salvador, the abortion law is so strict just having a miscarriage can land a woman in jail.

The Central American country has some of the toughest anti-abortion laws in the world. Since 1998 any pregnant woman who loses her unborn child can be accused of homicide.

Abortion is banned under any circumstance in the country and women are petrified of having a problematic pregnancy.

Continued at source: https://america.cgtn.com/2017/10/14/abortion-ban-in-el-salvador-has-women-fearful-of-miscarriage

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Beatriz, Who Brought El Salvador’s Abortion Ban to the World Stage, Dies Following Motorcycle Accident

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Beatriz, Who Brought El Salvador’s Abortion Ban to the World Stage, Dies Following Motorcycle Accident

Oct 11, 2017
Kathy Bougher

"Beatriz was our friend, a warrior, who never stopped fighting for her life," said the local feminist group Agrupacion 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 October 8 from complications after a motorcycle accident a few days prior.

Garcia, who chose to be known only as “Beatriz” during her struggle to interrupt her life-threatening pregnancy in 2013, suffered from the autoimmune disease discoid systemic lupus erythematosus, which was aggravated by lupus nephritis, an incurable disease that affects multiple organs. According to the Salvadoran Institute of Forensic Medicine, the lupus, combined with a case of hospital-acquired pneumonia, ultimately led to her death.

Continued at source: Rewire: https://rewire.news/article/2017/10/11/beatriz-brought-el-salvadors-abortion-ban-world-stage-dies-following-motorcycle-accident/

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El Salvador: What women’s lives are like when abortion is a crime

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What women's lives are like when abortion is a crime

By Alice Driver
Thu October 5, 2017

Story highlights
Alice Driver: Passage of a recent bill in the House of Representatives shows that for some Republicans, criminalizing abortion is a priority. If Americans want to know what women's lives are like in a country where abortion is a crime, they should listen to women in El Salvador, she writes

(CNN)During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump famously said that there should be "some form of punishment" for abortion. Although he later tried to walk these remarks back, he and his mostly male fellow Republicans have quietly been making headway since he took office on an agenda to make sure women have as few options as possible for reproductive choice and education, including limited access to birth control and the preventative care offered by Planned Parenthood.

Continued at source: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/05/opinions/united-states-el-salvador-abortion-prison-driver-opinion/index.html

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

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

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Sep 1, 2017

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 her guilt nor to sentence her to 30 years in prison for a murder she did not commit, as explained Bertha Deleon, one of her lawyers and a human rights defender.

SOURCE: Las 17, 28 August 2017 ; PHOTO
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Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/el-salvador-appeal-to-acquit-evelyn-hernandez-and-annul-her-30-year-sentence/

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

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

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Aug 22, 2017

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 help: a US-based anti-abortion group called Human Life International that may have been funnelling funds to El Salvador’s anti-abortion movement since 2000.

This month, during an action in front of the Legislative Assembly, national and international voices showed their support for the bill to reform Article 133 of the Criminal Code, which has been languishing in the country’s Congress for the past 10 months. The bill is still “under discussion” in the Constitutional Commission of the Assembly.

In a press conference attended by legislators from the parties WINS, FMLN and sand, it was reported that a petition with 89,453 signatures from all over the world had been handed in, in support of the bill, which has wide acceptance in Salvadoran public opinion. Margarita Rodriguez, President of the Parliamentary Group of Women, said: “To receive (almost) 90,000 signatures from women around the world, I am committed to working to reform the national legislation and to ensure the health and lives of women”.

In the most recent survey of public opinión by Untold Research in June 2017, it was found that 79% of Salvadorans said that: “Doctors should be allowed to provide the care necessary to save the life of a mother, including the termination of pregnancy.”

 The recent case of Evelyn Hernandez, who was wrongly convicted of aggravated homicide following a miscarriage, put El Salvador in the eye of the storm on the international scene, highlighting the lack of legal tools to protect the health of pregnant women.

It is hoped that the reform bill will be discussed within the coming weeks, before the beginning of the campaign ahead to launch the upcoming general election in 2018.

 Meanwhile, on 17 August, a deputy from the ARENA party, John Wright, introduced a new reform bill as a citizens’ initiative, which is backed with more than 1,000 signatures, which also proposes the decriminalization of abortion in cases of rape of a child and when there is a risk to the health or life of the pregnant woman. This was despite the fact that his party has made it clear they are not in favour of abortion under any circumstances.

SOURCES: The Guardian, by Molly Redden, Nina Lakhani, 27 July 2017 ; La Agrupación Ciudadana, 11 August 2017 ; La Prensa Grafica, 18 August 2017 ; PHOTO

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Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/el-salvador-two-abortion-law-reform-bills-under-consideration/

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Mothers caught up in El Salvador’s abortion ban put focus on families

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Mothers caught up in El Salvador's abortion ban put focus on families

The Latin American country has one of the world's strictest laws against abortion, and dozens of women say they were wrongly jailed after suffering miscarriages. As El Salvador debates loosening the ban, they're trying to change the conversation.

Catarina Fernandes Martins, Correspondent
August 3, 2017

San Salvador—Mirna Ramírez was arrested for attempting to murder her daughter on the day she was born.

Ms. Ramírez was seven months pregnant when she suddenly went into labor at home, where she delivered her daughter. Neighbors rushed to help and arrived right after the birth. Afterward, though, saying they suspected she had been trying to abort the baby, they reported her to authorities. She was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Continued at source: Christian Science Monitor: https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2017/0803/Mothers-caught-up-in-El-Salvador-s-abortion-ban-put-focus-on-families

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