El Salvador – When Abortion Bans Are Too Popular to Overturn

A court may soon rule against El Salvador’s anti-abortion law. But will that make a difference?

APRIL 24, 2023
By Anna-Catherine Brigida

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador—Alba Lorena Santos had just returned home from running errands when her headache began. She saw blood running down her legs. She was five months pregnant.

Santos told her daughter to call their neighbor, a relative by marriage, for help. She fainted shortly after. When she woke up, she remembers the neighbor telling her the baby—a boy—had died.

The next day the neighbor returned and said the police were there to ask some questions. Still sick and feverish, Santos said she was put into a police car and asked: “Why did you kill him? Not even dogs do that.”

Continued:  https://foreignpolicy.com/2023/04/24/abortion-bans-popular-el-salvador-latin-america/

Historic moment’ as El Salvador abortion case fuels hopes for expanded access across Latin America

Human rights court hears seriously ill woman denied procedure as advocates call for change in region with world’s most restrictive abortion laws

Julia Zulver in San Salvador
Fri 24 Mar 2023

Human rights activists in Latin America hope that a historic court hearing over the case of a Salvadoran woman who was denied an abortion despite her high-risk pregnancy could open the way for El Salvador to decriminalize abortions – and set an important precedent across the region.

The inter-American court of human rights (IACHR) this week considered the historic case of the woman, known as Beatriz, who was prohibited from having an abortion in 2013, even though she was seriously ill and the foetus she was carrying would not have survived outside the uterus.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2023/mar/24/historic-moment-as-el-salvador-abortion-case-fuels-hopes-for-expanded-access-across-latin-america

Beatriz vs El Salvador: The landmark case that could change the most restrictive abortion laws in the Americas

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is investigating how a 21-year-old, who was diagnosed with lupus and carrying a fetus that would not survive outside the womb, was not allowed to terminate the pregnancy

Noor Mahtani, San Salvador
MAR 23, 2023

“When my daughter was told she was pregnant and had lupus, the doctors said she could not continue with her pregnancy, because both of their lives were in danger. They said that there was only one way she could be saved, but that they couldn’t do it. They couldn’t allow an abortion.” That’s how the mother of Beatriz, a young woman who lost her life after being denied an abortion, began her testimony in the landmark case: Beatriz vs El Salvador.

For the first time, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) is investigating the total ban on abortion in El Salvador, where it is a crime under any circumstances, and punishable by up to 50 years in prison. A favorable ruling for the family of Beatriz (whose real name remains under seal) could ease the most restrictive anti-abortion law on the continent and set a precedent for the region.

Continued: https://english.elpais.com/international/2023-03-23/beatriz-vs-el-salvador-the-landmark-case-that-could-change-the-most-restrictive-abortion-laws-in-the-americas.html

El Salvador – Inter-American court hears first abortion rights case

23 MAR 2023

SAN JOSé - Women gathered outside the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) in Costa Rica Wednesday, calling for "justice" as lawyers presented the tribunal's first-ever abortion rights case.

A woman identified only as "Beatriz" is symbolically squaring off against the Central American country of El Salvador which enforces an absolute ban on the procedure.

Continued: https://www.bangkokpost.com/world/2533981/inter-american-court-hears-first-abortion-rights-case

El Salvador: Court Hears Case on Total Abortion Ban

Inter-American Court Ruling Could Set Precedent in Latin America and the Caribbean

March 23, 2023

(Washington, DC) – An Inter-American Court of Human Rights hearing on the case of Beatriz, who was denied an abortion by El Salvador despite her high-risk pregnancy, will highlight the dire consequences of a law that completely bans abortion and is an opportunity for a step forward in the protection of reproductive rights in the region, Human Rights Watch said today.

“This is the first time the Inter-American Court will discuss the consequences of the total criminalization of abortion,” said Cristina Quijano Carrasco, women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Its ruling on El Salvador, which has some of the world’s strictest anti-abortion laws, would set a precedent in Latin America and the Caribbean when it comes to abortion if a women’s life is in danger or if a fetus cannot survive outside the womb.”

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2023/03/23/el-salvador-court-hears-case-total-abortion-ban

Countries in the Americas should reinforce abortion protections, rights commission urges

El Salvador “stood out,” the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said, for 30- and 50-year sentences for homicide even though activists said women suffered miscarriages.

Feb. 1, 2023
By Reuters

MEXICO CITY — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on Wednesday called for countries in the Americas to reinforce protections for women and girls seeking abortions, after observing measures that “go backwards” last year.

“Both material and formal measures were observed that go backwards in the guarantee of reproductive rights free of all forms of violence and discrimination,” the IACHR said in a statement.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/countries-americas-reinforce-abortion-protections-rights-commission-ur-rcna68574

El Salvador – How total abortion ban puts maternal health at risk

Study finds high rates of serious complications among Salvadoran patients who were forced to carry severely malformed fetuses to term

BY Nikki Rojas, Harvard Staff Writer
January 25, 2023

Pregnant patients in El Salvador, who, under the nation’s abortion ban, had no choice but to carry fetuses with severe malformations to term, experienced high rates of maternal morbidity, according to new research by Harvard sociologist Jocelyn Viterna and two partner Salvadoran physicians. The study, which examined 239 pregnancies with one of 18 malformations typically considered fatal between 2013 and 2018, appears in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Global Reports.

In explaining why they took up their research, Viterna and co-authors Carolina Mena Ugarte and María Virginia Rodríguez Funes, wrote that a “striking number of national and subnational governments that previously allowed legal abortion in cases of severe fetal anomaly” had passed laws to remove the allowances, but that little was known about the maternal health implications.

Continued: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2023/01/how-total-abortion-ban-puts-maternal-health-at-risk/

El Salvador Recognizes Inter-American Court Ruling On Abortion

The judgment declares the Salvadoran State responsible for the violations of the judicial guarantees, integrity, and freedom of Manuela, a woman who died in prison while serving an abortion sentence.

10 January 2023
by teleSUR/MS

The Salvadorian government recognized a judgment issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) in 2021 against it on the case of Manuela, a woman who died in jail while serving a 30-year sentence for abortion.

The IACHR judgment declares the Salvadoran State responsible for the violations of the judicial guarantees, integrity, freedom, and the right to equality before the law of Manuela and her family, for whom the State will seek alternative education and medical care as reparations.

Continued: https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/El-Salvador-Recognizes-Inter-American-Court-Ruling-On-Abortion-20230110-0012.html

Jailed for abortion, freed Salvadoran women struggle to rebuild

Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Nov 14, 2022 

BOGOTA – When convicted murderer Teodora Vasquez was freed after more than a decade in prison, the Salvadoran single mother faced a whole new challenge – a teenage son she barely recognized, a wall of rejection and a digital world she didn’t get.

Plus no way to make ends meet. “I had to start with nothing,” Vasquez recalled.

Continued: https://www.reuters.com/article/el-salvador-abortion-women/feature-jailed-for-abortion-freed-salvadoran-women-struggle-to-rebuild-idUKL8N31X64Z

El Salvador woman’s 50-year jail sentence outrages abortion rights group

July 4, 2022

SAN SALVADOR - A woman in El Salvador has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for aggravated homicide in a controversial case in which authorities argued she had killed her baby after giving birth, while her defenders said she had suffered a miscarriage.

Salvadoran authorities said the woman carried her baby to near-full term and gave birth in June 2020. After having the baby, she stabbed it in the neck six times, they said.

Continued: https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/el-salvador-womans-50-year-jail-sentence-outrages-abortion-rights-group-2022-07-04/