A court in El Salvador, a country that has perhaps the world’s most strict laws on reproductive rights, found that Evelyn Beatriz Hernández Cruz, who after she giving birth to a baby killed the baby by throwing it into a latrine pit. It convicted her of aggravated homicide. A teenager has been jailed for 30 years after suffering what her lawyers said was a miscarriage, after she was raped a year ago.
That she had aborted by throwing its remains into a latrine pit in Cojutepeque, 25 miles east of the country’s capital, San Salvador at her home.
The teenager’s Lawyer: Dennis Muñoz
- She had an out-of-hospital birth in April last year as he did not even know she was pregnant and had confused labour pains with stomach ache.
- “We think it’s important that this injustice is known in El Salvador – that because of a prejudice, for being a woman, for having a stillbirth that she didn’t have control over.
What activists on the Nation’s Law:
- The sentence is simply the latest in a series of cases in which women are sent to jail, frequently for 30 or 40 years, after suffering miscarriage.
- Morena Herrera, Executive Director of the Citizen’s Group for the Decriminalisation of Abortion said;
- “The judgment sentencing Evelyn to 30 years in prison shows how in El Salvador justice is applied without direct proof, without sufficient evidence that clarifies what a woman has done”.
- “In this case, Evelyn did not kill her newborn child. She simply experienced an obstetric emergency and the state prosecutor has badly interpreted the facts and unfortunately the judge hasn’t listened to the witnesses that told her there was no direct proof.”
- In a statement, she added: “We’re going to appeal this decision. Luckily, we still have recourse within the judicial system that – as we’ve demonstrated in other moments – can be effective so that women unjustly sentenced like Evelyn can regain their freedom.”
- As per other activist, no country prosecutes the law with as much aggression as the staunchly Catholic El Salvador.
- Amnesty International said:
“retrograde anti-abortion law“.
- Erika Guevara-Rosas, the group’s Americas Director said:
- “El Salvador’s anti-abortion law is causing nothing but pain and suffering to countless women and girls and their families.”
- “It goes against human rights and it has no place in the country or anywhere.”
- Prior to 1998, abortion was permitted in cases of rape, incest, where a foetus was injured or if the mother’s life was in danger which was law was changed to remove any exceptions whatsoever under pressure from the church and right wing politicians.
- Estimates have suggested that between between 1998 and 2013, more than 600 women have been jailed after being accused of having had an abortion.
Late in 2016, a bill was introduced in the El Salvador Assembly that abortion in cases where a pregnancy puts the life and health of the woman at risk, a medical diagnosis where the foetus cannot survive, a pregnancy resulting from sexual violence or human trafficking was decriminalized