Women jailed for miscarriages in El Salvador
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El Salvador, in Central America, has some of the world's harshest anti-abortion laws that prohibit all types of abortion, even if the pregnancy poses a risk to the life of the mother or is the result of rape or incest.
Women who have had a miscarriage or stillbirth are charged with aggravated murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
In December 2021, the campaign for the release of imprisoned women who lost children due to critical obstetric circumstances, supported by international celebrities such as America Ferrera and Milla Jovovich. As a result, three women were released from prison.
The Women's Equality Center, a US-based advocacy group that supports pro-choice campaigns in Latin America, reports that at least 180 women have been prosecuted or jailed in the country over the past two decades due to the loss of a child.
El Salvador is one of seven Latin American countries that completely ban abortion. The six others are Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Suriname. Worldwide, total abortion bans have been legalized in 24 countries.
In recent years, several Latin American countries, including Mexico, Argentina and Colombia, have adopted more liberal abortion laws after strong pressure from a number of activist movements, dubbed the “Green Wave”.
El Salvador considered legalizing medical abortion as part of a package of constitutional reforms, but plans were thwarted last September by a decision by President Nayib Bukele. Although during his 2018 presidential campaign, Bukele defended such changes to the abortion law, saying that he was strongly opposed to the criminalization of women who had a miscarriage.
pregnancy, or when there is a risk to the health of the mother, but there is strong opposition from conservative politicians and religious leaders.
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