Earlier this month, Christina Quintanilla, who spent four years in prison after experiencing a miscarriage, testified in front of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about the effects of the El Salvador’s total abortion ban on the country’s women.
In El Salvador, where abortion is illegal even in cases of rape, incest, and maternal danger, on-the-ground feminist organizations have been targeted by mainstream news media outlets publishing articles based on the Center for Medical Progress’ deceptive undercover videos.
Carmelina Pérez, a Honduran woman living in El Salvador, was sentenced to 30 years in prison in July 2014 after suffering what appeared to be a miscarriage. But last week, she was acquitted of all charges, setting a possible new precedent in the fight for reproductive justice in El Salvador.
Beginning last year, advocates launched the International Day for Maternal Health and Rights on April 11 to ensure that combating the mistreatment women around the world face during pregnancy, labor, and childbirth becomes a matter of global importance.
Purvi Patel’s 41-year sentence for contradictory charges is a glaring reminder of the fact that abortion’s legal status in the United States does not mean prosecutions for pregnancy loss can’t happen here.
Last week, RH Reality Check met with six of the 17 Salvadoran women imprisoned for what amount to pregnancy complications. The women discussed the challenges they face, including harassment from other inmates and overcrowded conditions.
Last week, the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador voted to grant a pardon to Guadalupe, who was charged with aggravated homicide after an obstetrical complication she suffered in 2007. But 15 of the women known as “Las 17” are still in prison—and activists hope increased international attention will spur the Salvadoran government into taking just action.
The El Salvador national legislature had the opportunity on January 16 to pardon a woman named Guadalupe, who was convicted of aggravated homicide against her newborn when, in fact, she had suffered obstetrical complications. Her petition fell one vote short of approval, but the story isn’t over.
When determining whether to pardon the Salvadoran women incarcerated on abortion-related charges, the country’s National Criminology Council gave “unfavorable” recommendations for 12 of them based on factors such as “scarce economic resources.”
Women are being sent to prison for up to 40 years in El Salvador based on a test that, according to a new report, researchers deemed unreliable more than 100 years ago.