El Salvador Should Review Abortion Laws, Treatment Of Women

Inter Press Service: El Salvador’s Shameful Treatment of Women Who Miscarry
Jeannette Urquilla, executive director of Organización de Mujeres Salvadoreñas por la Paz (ORMUSA)

“…Since 1998, under Article 133 of our Penal Code, abortion has been completely illegal in El Salvador in all circumstances. … El Salvador is one of only four countries in Latin America which bans abortion in all instances — including after rape and when a mother’s health is at risk. … We are hopeful though that things may be starting to change. The Supreme Court’s decision to free … two women [who had a miscarriage and a stillbirth] is encouraging. Last year the United Nations also urged El Salvador to review the discriminatory and harmful abortion law … We are still waiting to see if a 2016 parliamentary bill on reproductive rights will be debated and passed — a proposed reform of Article 133. In this bill, abortion would be decriminalized in the following instances: after rape, statutory rape, or when the woman has been trafficked; where the fetus is likely to die, or when the pregnant woman’s life is put at risk. Despite having many allies such as the Ministry of Health as well as parliamentarians, resistance by many religious groups and politicians means that we still have a long way to go.” (3/28).