Women

04.28.13

The El Salvador Abortion That Could Save a Life

In El Salvador, a woman struggles to obtain the procedure she needs.

A young woman in El Salvador, pseudonymously called “Beatriz” by RH Reality Check, is facing a fatal roadblock from her government. She is pregnant with an anencephalic fetus—one without a brain. Day by day, her kidney function degrades, but she cannot terminate the pregnancy in her county. Abortion was outlawed in El Salvador in 1998, and since then, “a constitutional amendment was added declaring that life begins at conception, which means that prosecutors can charge women who seek abortions with aggravated homicide, punishable by 30 to 50 years in prison.” Beatriz has received support from the United Nations, Amnesty International, and the Salvadoran Minister for Health and Attorney General for Human Rights, but still it remains unclear whether she will be able to undergo the procedure that would save her life.