Woman gets 30-years jail sentence for miscarriage

A court sitting in El Salvador has upheld an earlier decision by a lower court to sentence a woman to 30 years jail term for the crime of abortion.

According to the court in its new ruling handed down by a tribunal, the accused, Teodora Vásquez, who was in 2007 sentenced to 30-years behind bars after she suffered a miscarriage described as “homicide” declared the ruling upright.

The strictly Catholic country turned down the appeal filed by Vasquez who has already spent 10 years in prison.

Amnesty International reports that 3 out of 8 maternal deaths in El Salvador are attributed to suicides by pregnant girls under the age of 19.

Amnesty International further described El Salvador as “a nation known as the worst place in the world for women’s reproductive rights, and a nation where anti-abortion laws makes no exception for rape, incest or the health of the mother.”

The agency reported that El Salvador, when it prohibited all abortions spared no circumstance including pregnancy as a result of rape and incest.

The Centre for Reproductive Rights further stated that “It is estimated that between 1998 and 2013, more than 600 women were jailed after being accused of having had an abortion.”

Nancy Northup, the president and CEO of the centre added that the decision was “another slap in the face for Teodora, who never committed any crime”.

“The Salvadoran court is perpetuating the criminal prosecution of women who suffer pregnancy complications, denying women their dignity, freedom and rights.

“El Salvador’s abortion law criminalises and wrongfully imprisons women. Today the Salvadoran court chose to deny Teodora her due process.”