El Salvador: Women serving prison terms for abortions they said they never had

thedailybeast.com/Nina Strochlic

Inside the women’s prison in El Salvador, set on the outskirts of the capital in a dangerous neighborhood called Ilopango, at least 21 women are serving sentences for abortions they say they never had. All of these women claim they are jailed for miscarrying their babies. In the prison’s leafy courtyard, a petite woman in a white tank top and bright sneakers confidently takes a seat. Teodora Vásquez is used to telling her story. After an Amnesty International campaign, the 32-year-old has become the face of women imprisoned under the world’s harshest abortion laws. Since 1998, abortions have been banned in El Salvador in all circumstances, regardless of the fetus’s viability or the risk to the mother’s life. Hospitals are required to report suspicious cases to the police. Sometimes, women who miscarry are accused of having a late-term abortion and charged with aggravated homicide—which carries up to a 50-year sentence. Read Article

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