From Herrera to Herrera: women against the patriarchy in El Salvador
The current climate of anti-abortion zealotry fosters brutal regimes that persecute and torture people such as Manuela, who died while imprisoned for having a miscarriage

DEBORA DINIZ, GISELLE CARINO
12 MAR 2021

The voice that conveyed the information to Morena Herrera, from El Salvador,
was foreign. “There are women who have been imprisoned for abortion,” the voice
said, “and they’ll stay there for 30 years or more.” Herrera could not believe
what she was hearing; under the criminal code, abortion carried a maximum
sentence of eight years. Why such long prison terms? Morena Herrera asked the
speaker, Donna Ferrato, how she knew about these women. Ferrato had just
finished a photo essay for The New York Times on the criminalization of
abortion in El Salvador, and she had heard the story from the imprisoned women
themselves. One of them was Karina Herrera. The coincidence of sharing the same
last name helped Morena embark on a journey to identify these women and take the
fight for their freedom to national and international courts.

Continued: https://english.elpais.com/usa/2021-03-12/from-herrera-to-herrera-women-against-the-patriarchy-in-el-salvador.html


Abortion Has Been Illegal in El Salvador for Two Decades. Here’s What Activists Say U.S. Feminists Should Know.

Abortion Has Been Illegal in El Salvador for Two Decades. Here’s What Activists Say U.S. Feminists Should Know.
"It’s vulnerable women who are criminalized. It’s exactly the same thing that will happen in the United States.”

Jul 16, 2019
Kathy Bougher

Legislatures around the United States have passed increasingly tight restrictions on abortion in the past few years. As the overturning of Roe v. Wade becomes a more realistic possibility, some activists have looked to those in other countries with abortion bans for guidance.

In El Salvador, where abortion has been banned in all circumstances since 1998, activists drew similarities between the two countries’ situations—and told Rewire.News that those concerned about reproductive rights should look to unite with allies beyond their own borders.

continued: https://rewire.news/article/2019/07/16/abortion-has-been-illegal-in-el-salvador-for-two-decades-heres-what-activists-say-u-s-feminists-should-know/


EL SALVADOR – Interview with Sara García Gross: « In El Salvador, when a woman falls pregnant, she loses her right to life. »

EL SALVADOR – Interview with Sara García Gross: « In El Salvador, when a woman falls pregnant, she loses her right to life. »

June 22, 2018
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

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 them is strong and influential. Among the fundamentalists, there is not only the Catholic Church but also groups related to Opus Dei, who have organised campaigns to discredit and disparage our work on sexual and reproductive rights.

Pope John Paul II visited El Salvador; he was totally anti-abortion. Streets bear his name. Currently, there is a process of canonisation of Bishop Romero, which had already been declared a saint by the people, so it was not even necessary for the church to recognise him. The fundamentalist movement takes advantage of his popularity to promote anti-abortion messages.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/el-salvador-interview-with-sara-garcia-gross-in-el-salvador-when-a-woman-falls-pregnant-she-loses-her-right-to-life/


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

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


El Salvador: What It’s Like To Be The World’s First Abortion Refugee

What It's Like To Be The World's First Abortion Refugee

In 2011, María Teresa Rivera was sentenced to 40 years in prison for 'aggravated homicide' following a miscarriage in El Salvador. Five years later, free and living in Sweden, she finally speaks out about the horrific ordeals women across her home country are facing when it comes to abortion, homicide and the law.

By Katie O'Malley
Aug 1, 2017

The pain, both physical and psychological, of going through a miscarriage, is an experience no-one should have to endure.

However, little did 33-year-old María Teresa Rivera know that the death of her embryo would also be compounded by the loss of her freedom.

Continued at source: Elle: http://www.elleuk.com/life-and-culture/culture/longform/a37441/first-abortion-refugee-maria-teresa-rivera-el-salvador/


El Salvador: The people fighting the world’s harshest abortion law

The people fighting the world's harshest abortion law

By Rossalyn Warren, for CNN
Mon July 10, 2017

El Salvador's ban on abortion is one of the toughest in the world, but for the first time in 20 years, there are signs the law could be weakened. These are some of the men and women spearheading the country's movement for women's rights.

San Salvador, El Salvador (CNN) -- María Teresa Rivera was 28 when her mother-in-law found her bleeding heavily on the bathroom floor. She rushed Rivera to the hospital, desperate to save her life, but when they arrived, medics took one look at the young woman and called the police.

Continued at source: CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/10/americas/el-salvador-abortion-law/index.html


Salvadoran Woman Becomes First Person to Be Granted Asylum Due to Regressive Abortion Laws

Salvadoran Woman Becomes First Person to Be Granted Asylum Due to Regressive Abortion Laws

Mar 28, 2017, 3:34pm Kathy Bougher

After giving birth in the latrine of her home in 2011, an unconscious Maria Teresa Rivera was taken to a public hospital. There, she was accused of provoking an abortion and sent to jail.

Last week, Maria Teresa Rivera of El Salvador was granted political asylum in Sweden based on her imprisonment for abortion-related charges—the first person to receive such protection in history.

Continued at source: Rewire: https://rewire.news/article/2017/03/28/salvadoran-woman-becomes-first-person-granted-asylum-due-regressive-abortion-laws/


Support building for landmark move to overturn El Salvador’s anti-abortion law

Support building for landmark move to overturn El Salvador's anti-abortion law

Parliamentary bill proposing to loosen draconian restrictions on abortion finds favour after religious groups, doctors and others voice public support

Nina Lakhani in Mexico City

Thursday 23 March 2017

El Salvador’s controversial law banning abortion in all circumstances, which has provoked ruthless miscarriages of justice, could be overturned in what has been described as a historic move.

Momentum is building around a parliamentary bill proposing to allow abortion in cases of rape or human trafficking; when the foetus in unviable; or to protect the pregnant woman’s health or life.

Prominent church groups, doctors, lawyers and ethicists have generated a groundswell of public support after speaking out in favour of loosening restrictions in a series of public hearings and debates.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/mar/23/el-salvador-anti-abortion-law-overturn-support-building-landmark-move


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

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.

[continued at link]
Source: Foreign Policy


Welcome to El Salvador: Forty years’ jail for your miscarriage

2016 Issue 3, Conscience
By Andrew Buncombe
Posted Dec 20, 2016

When Maria Teresa Rivera was jailed in El Salvador for 40 years after suffering a miscarriage, the authorities would not allow her to keep a photograph of her son, Oscar. So she would shut her eyes and call up moments from the past, memories that burned bright and deep, and which allowed her to form an image of the youngster in her mind. Being away from Oscar for the five years she eventually served was the most difficult aspect of her incarceration. “Sometimes I would feel sad and desperate,” she told me, a few days after she was released this past spring. “I would go to the church and pray. It helped a lot.” Ms. Rivera, 33, was a victim of what is probably the most draconian legal situation in the world for repro­ductive rights.

[continued at link]

Source: Conscience