These women say they had miscarriages. Now they're in jail for abortion.
By Kate Smith, Gilad Thaler
May 28, 2020 / CBS News
Watch the CBS News Digital documentary "Jailed for Abortion in El Salvador" in the video player above. It premieres on CBSN tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Seven months pregnant, Manuela, a mother of two, said she miscarried at her modest home in rural El Salvador. But the police, and a judge, didn't believe her. They charged and convicted her for aggravated homicide, sentencing her to 30 years in prison.
But Manuela only served two of those years. In 2010, she died alone in a hospital of Hodgkin's lymphoma, a disease her lawyers say caused her to miscarry.
Raped, miscarried, arrested: Inside El Salvador’s ‘outrageous’ state-sponsored persecution of vulnerable women
Dozens of women are serving decades-long sentences in the country for miscarriages and stillbirths, often as a result of rape, with some handcuffed to a bed while they are still haemorrhaging. Lucy Anna Gray speaks to the activists and lawyers fighting to free them and change the law once and for all
The Independent, Tom Ford
Sep 1, 2019
After 33-months in prison for having a stillbirth as a result of rape, Evelyn Hernandez was released. Less than two years later she was dragged back to trial with prosecutors demanding she be sentenced to 40 years for aggravated homicide. The now 21-year-old spent three years going through trials, jail and scrutiny, all while she was still recovering. In her first trial, Hernandez didn’t use the sexual assault as defence out of fear of violent repercussion. It wasn’t until she later received therapy that she would share this information.
Dominican Republic: Abortion Ban Endangers Health
Criminal Penalties Violate Rights
November 19, 2018
(Santo Domingo) – The Dominican Republic’s total ban on abortion threatens women's health and lives and violates their rights, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Abortion is illegal in the Dominican Republic in all circumstances, even when a pregnancy is life-threatening, unviable, or the result of rape.
The 78-page report, “‘It’s Your Decision, It’s Your Life’: The Total Criminalization of Abortion in the Dominican Republic,” documents that women and girls facing unwanted pregnancies have clandestine abortions, often at great risk to their health and lives. Many experience health complications from unsafe abortions, and some die. Some women and girls face abuse, neglect, or mistreatment by healthcare providers. The ban does not stop abortion but drives it underground and makes it less safe. As a starting place toward meeting the country’s human rights obligations, Congress should decriminalize abortion in three circumstances.