On Tuesday, the plaza in front of the Legislative Assembly in El Salvador blazed with sun and the energy of 200 women and men gathered to demand from the state an accounting of progress made on petitions to pardon 17 women unjustly imprisoned for up to 40 years for what amount to miscarriages, stillbirths, and other obstetric complications.
A Salvadoran feminist organization has launched an international campaign to pressure the government to pardon and free 17 women who suffered complications of pregnancy leading to miscarriage and stillbirth, and who have been imprisoned under the country’s total abortion ban.
A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Beatriz with the Inter-American Human Rights Commission against the government of El Salvador for violations of women’s human rights.
Recently, the investigation files on children forcefully disappeared during the 13-year civil war in El Salvador were destroyed in an attack on the offices of Asociación Pro-Búsqueda—seemingly part of an orchestrated campaign to destroy evidence related to the genocidal acts committed during the civil war.
The story of “Beatriz,” the 22-year-old woman caught in the firestorm of the abortion conflict in El Salvador, no longer appears on the front pages of the country’s newspapers nor on TV nightly news. Beatriz, however, continues to struggle daily.
Latin America is home to five of the seven countries in the world in which abortion is banned in all instances, even when the life of the woman is at risk. Here’s why.
In May, the same group of experts urged the government of El Salvador to act swiftly to provide a safe abortion for Beatriz, the 22-year-old woman whose pregnancy was finally terminated via hysterotomy abortion earlier this week.
Beatriz’s treatment should be considered cruel and degrading and a violation of the Hippocratic oath to do no harm.
It cannot but be concluded that the life and health of a young, rural woman had no value under the law in El Salvador. Can the rest of the world remain indifferent?
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the highest human rights court in the Americas, handed down Thursday a decision ordering the government of El Salvador to provide Beatriz access to health care that could save her life.