Women's Link Worldwide • El Salvador, April 25 de 2013

Woman that needs an abortion in El Salvador faces death or jail

Countdown to save Beatriz's life

Women’s Link Worldwide joins those that are demanding that doctors in El Salvador perform an abortion to save Beatriz’s life. Beatriz is a 22 year old poor woman from a rural area in El Salvador who is pregnant with a high risk of maternal mortality with an anencephalic fetus, which means, it has no chance of surviving after birth.

Beatriz wants to live. She is young woman with her whole life in front of her, which includes raising her small child who is one year old, who she wants to raise alongside her husband. But Beatriz has lupus, aggravated by lupus nephritis, which makes it very dangerous for her to be pregnant. Just over one year ago she had a high risk pregnancy due to the fact that she was anemic and she was diagnosed with preeclampsia. She had a cesarean section and her son was born prematurely and remained in intensive care for 38 days.

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.” 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 twelve years for the doctors) and for this reason the medical personnel at the Hospital do not dare perform the abortion. El Salvador is one of the few countries in the world that does not allow for abortion under any circumstance and there are currently 19 women in prison for getting an abortion.

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.

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.

Currently, the Supreme Court of Justice and the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights have pending before them urgent petitions seeking Beatriz’s right to get an abortion to save her life. Meanwhile, her life hangs on a thread and her story threatens to repeat those of Savita in Ireland, Esperancita in the Dominican Republic and Amalia in Nicaragua, amongst many other women and girls who continue to die because they are denied abortions they need to save their lives.

For more information:
Women's Link Worldwide

+34 669 464 490

Agrupación Ciudadana para la Despenalización del Aborto Terapéutico de El Salvador
Dennis Múñoz
+503 7777 9311