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    El Salvador Allows Premature Birth

    For woman denied abortion of baby without a brain.

    Beatriz, a 22-year-old El Salvador woman who was denied an abortion for a nonviable pregnancy that was threatening her life, has delivered her baby by Caesarian section at 27 weeks. The girl was born without a brain and is not expected to survive. Beatriz’s plight—she is known only by her first name in order to protect her privacy—focused international attention on El Salvador’s abortion ban, one of the strictest in the world. Last week, the country’s Supreme Court refused to allow her to terminate her pregnancy, despite the fact that she was suffering from lupus and kidney failure and carrying a fetus with only a brain stem. As the Associated Press reported, if she had an abortion, both she and the doctor who performed it would have faced arrest and criminal charges. The country’s Health Ministry, however, finally permitted her to end the pregnancy by giving birth prematurely. “The woman was recovering under the close watch of doctors late Monday,” the Associated Press reported.

    Read it at The Washington Post
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    Fight to Save Woman Goes Global

    People use social media to urge authorities in El Salvador to grant abortion.

    Authorities in El Salvador denied a pregnant 22-year-old, known only as Beatriz, an abortion to save her life. She has lupus and kidney problems and almost died from a previous pregnancy. Doctors say she will probably die from this birth if she doesn’t get an abortion. Even if she does live, her baby has a condition in which parts of its brain and skull are missing, and doctors say the child will most likely die shortly after birth. But it is illegal to have an abortion in El Salvador for any reason. The United Nations, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and El Salvador’s own health minister all have pleaded with authorities to OK an abortion for Beatriz. But after months of delays and inaction, people are fed up—so they’re using social networks to get the word out, with the hashtag #SaveBeatriz. El Salvador has jailed 628 women since 1998 for having abortions.

    Read it at Amnesty International
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    The 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.

    Read it at RH Reality Check