Women’s Rights Groups Demand Immediate Action for El Salvadoran Woman in Need of Life-Saving Abortion


See all our coverage of Beatriz here.

Petition the El Salvadoran President and Supreme Court for Beatriz’s life here.

Women’s Link Worldwide joins health and human rights groups in Latin America and worldwide demanding that doctors in El Salvador immediately perform an abortion to save the life of Beatriz, a 22-year old woman and mother of an infant. Beatriz is pregnant with an anencephalic fetus (a fetus without a brain) that has no chance of survival after birth. She has lupus, aggravated by lupus nephritis (a kidney malfunction), which makes it very dangerous for her to be pregnant. Beatriz is now at high risk of dying as a result of her current pregnancy and needs an abortion to save her life. Her condition is rapidly deteriorating. But because El Salvador is one of the few countries in the world that does not allow for abortion under any circumstance, Beatriz is being denied life-saving medical care.

Beatriz is from a poor rural area of El Salvador and lives in poverty. Just over a year ago she delivered her first child after a high-risk pregnancy during which she suffered from anemia and preeclampsia. She had a cesarean section and her son was born prematurely and remained in intensive care for 38 days.

The Ministry of Health, the National Commission of Bioethics, representatives of United Nations, women’s rights and human rights organizations support the authorization of the therapeutic abortion for Beatriz. Nonetheless, the Prosecutor’s Office has warned that if an abortion is performed they will apply the existing legislation in El Salvador that penalizes all abortions with prison time (up to 50 years for the woman and up to 12 years for the doctors) and for this reason the medical personnel at the Hospital do not dare perform the abortion.

Currently, the Supreme Court of Justice and the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IAHCR) have pending before them urgent petitions seeking Beatriz’s right to get an abortion to save her life. Women’s rights advocates are urging the Court and the IACHR to take swift action, and in turn, for the government of El Salvador to do the same.

Beatriz wants to live. She is young woman with her whole life in front of her, which includes raising her child alongside her husband. In the face of Beatriz’s medical situation, the Maternity Hospital (“Hospital de Maternidad”) has determined that “it is of vital importance that she gets the medical procedure she needs because otherwise there is a high probability of maternal mortality.”

The government must act to clear the way for this procedure immediately.

Groups in El Salvador and Latin America appeal to the international community to intervene and not allow another woman to die due to the lack of recognition of the most basic human rights and they demand that the authorities in El Salvador guarantee Beatriz’s right to life.

For Women’s Link, it is fundamental that therapeutic abortions be allowed as a minimum to protect the human rights of girls and women around the world, so that women and girls do not die or risk their life or health because they are denied an abortion. “If Beatriz were a woman with means, this would not be happening. The prohibition on abortion makes poor women have to choose between dying and turning into “criminals” and that is completely contrary to justice and human rights,” says Monica Roa, Programs Director for Women’s Link.

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  • http://twitter.com/verilyberrily Verity

    This is anti-human, uncompassionate and sickening! Give this woman thr treatment she needs!

  • http://twitter.com/ircrc S.E.B. MD

    She needs immediate termination of her pregnancy. Nothing is served by denying her this. She deserves to live and her baby needs her.

  • disqus_0YXrsQ8a6D

    How about putting her on a plane and flying her to another country? Those groups are all talk and no action.

    • http://twitter.com/RosemaryRue Beatrix S.L

      You think they wouldn’t do that if they could? A lot of these groups are strapped for cash as it is. Then there’s also the issue of whether Beatriz is well enough to travel in her current state of health, visas, passports, etc.

      If I had the money I’d pay for her and her family to come to the U.S. for the procedure. But I don’t.

    • cjvg

      Many times when this issue arises the government in question will take the woman in “protective” custody to prevent her from terminating her pregnancy.

      The same thing has happened before in Ireland when a child rape victim that was suicidal, was prevented from leaving after it became known that her parents were planning to travel to England to provide her with an abortion.

      This ultimately lead to a Irish supreme court case that gave her permission to go.