Imprisoned for Abortion in El Salvador
El Salvador forbids all abortions. Abortions are illegal even when pregnancy results from rape and even if continuing a pregnancy endangers the woman’s life. In 2014, 17 women who had had spontaneous abortions were in prison in El Salvador because the government did not believe that their abortions were spontaneous (commonly called miscarriages). Their prison sentences range from 12 to 40 years. Not only do these long, unjust sentences criminalize these innocent women, they also orphan their children. Maria Theresa Rivera is one of these 17. She had a spontaneous abortion when she was a 28 year old single mother of a young son. She was convicted of violating El Salvador’s absolute ban on abortion and sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Another egregious case is that of Teodora del Carmen Vásquez, who in 2008 was sentenced to 30 years in prison for “aggravated homicide” after suffering a still-birth at work. Please see Write For Rights Case Sheet Teodora.
For more information, please see “Amnesty International calls on El Salvador to decriminalize abortion and immediately release all women imprisoned for pregnancy-related complications” (located here).