Disgusting: Women In El Salvador Are Being Imprisoned For Suffering Miscarriages
Failed pregnancies are assuredly difficult enough, but imagine miscarrying only to be imprisoned at the hospital for "aggravated homicide."
This is the unfortunate reality for a number of women in El Salvador — one of five Latin American countries that doesn't allow any form of abortion under any circumstance.
In an extreme and entirely unfair interpretation of this law, some women who report failed pregnancies or experience miscarriages are arrested and imprisoned on charges of homicide for "killing" the fetus that, for a number of medical reasons, could not be carried to term.
Between 2000 and 2011, there have been at least 129 reported cases of women being jailed after miscarrying.
Government officials have been incriminating these women since the country's 1998 Penal Code reform, when all means of terminating pregnancies were outlawed, and made punishable by two to eight years in prison.
This month, women's rights activists have been petitioning for a pardon of 17 women, who were all convicted of aggravated homicide after they were admitted to hospitals with failed pregnancies.
These feminist and pro-choice organizations have also petitioned the Salvadorian Congress to ask for pardons for these women, which can only be attained if all three State powers — legislative, executive and judicial — approve.
Unsurprisingly, a number of high profile institutions and organizations, like the United Nations and Amnesty International, have decried this law.