The Supreme Court of El Salvador has still not issued a decision about whether or not it will allow a woman in El Salvador to terminate a life-threatening, non-viable fetus.
"Beatriz", who is currently 22 and already a mother of a young infant, was diagnosed with multiple severe illnesses and is 18 weeks pregnant. In addition, the fetus will not survive more than a few days outside the womb (if at all) due to a severe fetal abnormality where part of the brain does not develop. Doctors fear that if she continues with the pregnancy, Beatriz could lose her life. Abortion in any circumstance is illegal in El Salvador and if Beatriz and her doctors proceed with the abortion without approval from the Supreme Court they could face up to 30 years in jail for aggravated homicide. While the Supreme Court has agreed to hear her case, the Court has not released anything related to the case in the month since the hospital sought permission to treat Beatriz.
Over 45,000 people from around the world have signed a petition urging Salvadorian President Mauricio Funes to authorize the procedure. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights have also pressured the government to intervene. The UN experts on the right to health; torture; and violence against women issued a joint statement saying, "We urge the Government of El Salvador to take all necessary measures to ensure the protection and full enjoyment of the right to life, and to the highest attainable standard of health for Beatriz, in accordance with international human rights law."
Since a total ban on abortion was passed in 1998, 628 women have been imprisoned for their abortion, miscarriage, or stillbirth. Of those, 24 were charged with "aggravated murder," which can mean a penalty of up to 30 years in jail.
Media Resources: RH Reality Check 5/3/2013; Christian Science Monitor 5/2/2013; Feminist Newswire 4/25/2013
7/29/2014 Extensive Female Genital Mutilation Study To Be Conducted in the US - The Obama administration plans to conduct a large study on female genital mutilation (FGM) to try to assess how many girls and women in the US are at risk, and how many have already experienced, FGM.
According to experts, FGM tends to take place during summer break when parents take their daughter outside of the country for the practice.
Jaha Dukureh, a 24-year-old woman who grew up in Gambia, experienced FGM there, and then child marriage in the US, started a petition that gained more than 220,000 supporters. . . .