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Salvadoran women, jailed for decades for miscarriages, stillbirths, warn the U.S. about abortion bans

Salvadoran women, jailed for decades for miscarriages, stillbirths, warn the U.S. about abortion bans

Women in El Salvador jailed for decades after stillbirths or miscarriages under the country's total abortion ban warn the U.S. against similar laws.

Teodora del Carmen Vásquez was nine months pregnant and working at a school cafeteria when she felt extreme pain in her back, like the crack of a hammer. She called 911 seven times before fainting in a bathroom in a pool of blood.

The nightmare that followed is common in El Salvador, a heavily Catholic country where abortion is banned under all circumstances and even women who suffer miscarriages and stillbirths are sometimes accused of killing their babies and sentenced to years or even decades in prison.

When Vásquez regained consciousness, she had lost her nearly full-term fetus. Instead of an ambulance, officers drove her in the bed of a pickup through heavy rain to a police station. There she was arrested on suspicion of violating El Salvador’s abortion law, one of the world’s strictest. Fearing she could die, authorities eventually rushed her to a hospital, where she was chained by her left foot to a gurney. She was prosecuted, convicted and given 30 years in prison for aggravated homicide.

“This is the reality that we have lived, and I am not alone,” said Vásquez, who ended up serving more than 10 years for what she has always said was a stillbirth. “Any woman who arrives to jail accused of having an abortion is seen as the most evil, heartless being.”

“From the moment we get pregnant, we become incubators,” said Vásquez, who was freed in 2018 after her sentence was commuted. “We lose our rights because the only possibility that we have of a life is taking care of the product inside us. It’s violence against us.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/salvadoran-women-jailed-decades-miscarriages-stillbirths-warn-us-abort-rcna33035


Post ID: 436c7df3-5186-42b7-a606-547b64ee51aa
Rating: 1
Updated: 2 weeks ago

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