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El Salvador Should Reform Country’s Abortion Law To Improve Women’s Rights, Health

The Hill: The foreign policy case for decriminalizing abortion in El Salvador
Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and vice chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus

“For nearly two decades, El Salvador has criminalized abortion in all circumstances imposing harsh penalties, including incarceration, for women. With women’s rights groups in El Salvador urging lawmakers to allow exceptions to the ban in certain circumstances, this could soon all change. The Salvadoran Commission of Legislation and Constitutional Issues has the opportunity to vote on two reform proposals that would decriminalize abortion. … Both pieces of legislation, if passed, would allow women a better chance at life in El Salvador. … El Salvador is at a critical moment when there is a real opportunity to reform the country’s abortion law. Such a move would serve to improve El Salvador’s human rights record, address a human and public health crisis, and prevent the wrongful incarceration of Salvadoran women. Women’s rights are human rights too. No woman should ever face imprisonment because of a miscarriage or a stillbirth. I am encouraged to see the Assembly consider reforming this law, and my hope is that Salvadoran lawmakers choose the right side of history” (4/17).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.