On the Front Lines of El Salvador’s Underground Abortion Economy

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Amid an indifferent state and an activist Church, a defiant network of health workers struggle to offer a reprieve from the world’s most restrictive abortion laws.

By Nina Strochlic
January 3, 2017, Foreign Policy
On the Front Lines of El Salvador’s Underground Abortion Economy

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — The doctor doesn’t want his real name used, and when asked what he’d like to be called instead he laughs. “Dr. Hell,” he says. With a straw fedora, white Ralph Lauren button-down, and trimmed goatee, he looks better suited to the Hamptons than performing illegal underground abortions in El Salvador, a violence-wracked sliver of Central America that was recently crowned the world’s murder capital.

But halfway through August, he’d already helped three women get abortions under the most restrictive circumstances in the world. Since 1998, El Salvador has been one of six countries where abortion is banned under all circumstances, regardless of whether the mother’s life is at risk, the fetus is viable, or the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest.

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Source: Foreign Policy