We are lucky in this country that a safe abortion can be accessed by women who need it. An anti-abortion law is killing women in El Salvador. We can act now.In El Salvador, they have made it illegal to have abortions – no matter what the circumstance.
Thousands of women and girls are denied their rights by El Salvador’s blanket ban on abortion.
Under the current Salvadoran law, women are confronted with two options: commit a crime by having a secret abortion, or continue with the often life-threatening pregnancy.
The Abortion Ban
This law is totally indiscriminate.
Doesn’t matter how old you are, or what your situation is: whether pregnancy was a result of rape, incest, or where there’s potential health risk to the mum. They do not care.
Even when a woman has a miscarriage she can be charged with murder, and therefore face 40 years in prison.
I cannot get my head around this. It’s the 21st century. Women should be in charge of their bodies, not old men who make the laws.
Please sign the Amnesty International petition to say you don’t agree either!
El Salvador’s total ban on abortion came into law in the late 90s. This was a time when most countries were becoming more progressive and relaxing abortion laws. But in El Salvador, the old conservative men in charge – particularly the Catholic Church – resulted in stricter laws becoming a reality.
The archaic law in El Salvador has created a huge culture of fear. Prosecution is often based on weak or inconclusive evidence, following biased trials, and accused mothers are often given little to no legal help.
Doctors are terrified of being charged with assisting abortions. Even in the case of ectopic pregnancy! The foetus develops outside the womb, most commonly in a fallopian tube – WHERE THE BABY WILL NOT SURVIVE! Doctors can’t act until the mum is literally on the brink of death, and haemorrhaging on the table.
A doctor on a public hospital maternity ward told Amnesty:
“We have to wait until the patient shows signs of haemorrhage, because otherwise it’s illegal. Some colleagues will note on ultrasound scans: ‘ectopic pregnancy: embryo alive’. Beneath that will be noted: ‘remember, it is illegal to do this’. And the patient is even more confused.”
Miscarrying mothers are labelled ‘baby killers’ and treated as vile and dangerous criminals. This culture of fear has spread throughout El Salvador to the point where little girls as young as 9 – who’ve been raped and abused – are being forced to go through with pregnancies.
Some of these poor women will be suffering from terrifying mental health issues because of the trauma they are put through.
Let’s take Salvadoran women one step closer to the human rights they deserve.
Amnesty is one of the charities that my music and book sales contribute donations to, so please consider buying a CD to help them support such important causes as this.
With Love, Peace and Hope,