August 3, 2020

They ask the IACHR for "protection measures" for a Salvadoran woman tried for an abortion

Three social organizations asked the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for "protective measures" for a young Salvadoran girl tried for allegedly attempting to abort a child as a result of her stepfather's sexual abuse, the Center for Justice and International Law reported today. Cejil).

The source said, without detailing the date, that these measures were requested in favor of Imelda Cortez with the Feminist Collective for Local Development of El Salvador and the Citizen Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion.

"The organizations requesting the precautionary measures maintain that the State of El Salvador has not protected or guaranteed their rights and, on the contrary, has criminalized it and thereby put their rights at serious risk," said Cejil.

According to the organizations, the girl "underwent an out-of-hospital delivery on April 17, 2017 and since then she has been deprived of her liberty" and "could be sentenced to 20 years in prison."

The Cejil explained that Cortez will face a trial on November 12 for the crime of attempted homicide, but "to date has not been given psychological support and is kept in preventive detention without having considered his condition as a victim."

The stepfather of the girl, identified as Pablo Henríquez, faces criminal proceedings for allegedly raping her since she was a minor and, according to her lawyers, the genetic tests determined that she is the father of the girl that Cortez gave birth in a latrine of his house and he fell into the pit.

According to Marcia Aguiluz, director of Cejil for Central America and Mexico, "this young woman, who has survived years of sexual violence, who has been a victim of poverty and social exclusion, today is considered a victimizer for facing an obstetric emergency."

"This proves the discriminatory bias that persists in El Salvador and that particularly affects women in vulnerable situations," Aguiluz said.

El Salvador is one of the few countries in the world where abortion is prohibited in all circumstances, and where women who suffer complications of pregnancy, which cause spontaneous abortions or obstetric emergencies, are often accused of aggravated homicide by the Office of the Prosecutor .

In October 2016, the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) proposed to Congress the decriminalization of abortion in cases where there is rape, risk of death of the mother or fetal infeasibility.

However, entities that promote the decriminalization of abortion have indicated that this initiative is unlikely to advance given that the right, which opposes the reform, has the majority of the seats in Congress.


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