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News > El Salvador

El Salvador: Feminist Groups Demand Legal Abortion

  • Women's rights advocates carry posters reminiscent of

    Women's rights advocates carry posters reminiscent of "Beatriz" and call for the decriminalization of abortion. San Salvador, El Salvador. October 8, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 8 October 2020

El Salvador is one of the 26 nations that still prohibits abortion and considers it a crime.

On Thursday, women’s rights advocates and feminist groups from El Salvador demanded the government decriminalize abortion in exceptional pregnancy circumstances.


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The feminist organizations demand the legalization of abortion when the pregnancy results from rape or incest, one of the principal causes of underage pregnancies in the Central American nation.

According to data from the Health Ministry in June, about 258 girls under 14 years old got pregnant between January and June, 90 of them in San Salvador.

"We demand that girls who have been raped and then forced to carry their pregnancies to term be allowed to have an abortion, when neither their bodies nor their minds are fit to deal with this situation,” said feminist activist Pamela Alfaro.

They also condemned the institutional silence over child sexual abuse and the alarming rise in rapes and demanded governmental actions. They also demanded respect for women's reproductive rights.

"As second-class citizens, we are seen by Salvadoran legislation and decision-makers who do not see sexual and reproductive rights and the decriminalization of abortion as a priority," said the member of the organization Colectiva Amorales, Keyla Caceres.

They also remembered "Beatriz," the assumed name of a 22-year-old girl who has lupus who asked the Supreme Court for an abortion in 2013, without obtaining a positive answer.

El Salvador is one of the 26 nations that still prohibits abortion and admits that as a crime. Since 1998, the Salvadoran Constitution contemplates the fetus as a person, even in the first pregnancy stages; therefore, every abortion is lawfully a homicide.

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