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  • Women's organizations marched in commemoration of International Women's Day and to claim for their reproductive rights, legal abortion and the cease of gender violence , in San Salvador, El salvador. March 8, 2020.

    Women's organizations marched in commemoration of International Women's Day and to claim for their reproductive rights, legal abortion and the cease of gender violence , in San Salvador, El salvador. March 8, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 24 September 2020
Opinion

El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele pledged to overturn the abortion's ban when the mothers' life is in danger due to pregnancy complications.

Authorities released a woman who served six years in jail and faced a 30-years sentence under homicide charges after having a stillbirth in El Salvador.

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Cindy Erazo had pregnancy complications that led to an interruption of her eight-month pregnancy. After her emergency surgery, Erazo was found guilty of homicide as she was accused of intentionally ending the pregnancy. 

"Today, we celebrate Cindy's freedom, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison under the basis of false accusations. Her freedom confirms that justice is possible if we unite our forces, and gives us hope for the freedom of other women," said Morena Herrera, leader of the Citizen's Group for the Decriminalisation of Abortion.

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. Women could face two to 12 years in prison, but circumstances could aggravate the penalties. 

Cindy Erazo, who has a 10-years-son, faced a 30-years sentence, but after her imprisonment, her conviction was reduced to a decade.  She was released free after several defenders of women's reproductive rights exerted pressure over authorities regarding her case.

"While Cindy is finally free, more than 18 innocent women are currently in prison who should immediately be released. Many of these women have families waiting for them, and children being forced to survive without their mothers. Now more than ever – in the context of a deadly global pandemic – it is imperative that President Bukele and the courts liberate the women incarcerated under this cruel law," said executive director of the Women's Equality Center, Paula Avila-Guillén.

El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele pledged to overturn the abortion's ban when the mothers' life is in danger due to pregnancy complications. However, the Central American nation still criminalize miscarriage, stillbirths, and other non-deliberate abortions.

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