El Salvador enforces one of the harshest abortion laws in the world. In the country’s legal system, abortion is outlawed even when pregnancy is the result of rape and incest, a woman’s life is in danger, and the fetus has been determined to have a deformity.
Since the late 1990s, abortion has been considered illegal under any circumstances in the country. Stillbirths and miscarriages are also often seen as suspected abortion cases regardless of the medical reports.
A conviction of abortion can carry the same penalty as aggravated homicide, sentencing the convicted to at least two years in prison and 50 years for the most severe charges.
In 2017, a Salvadoran woman named Evelyn Beatríz Hernández Cruz was convicted of aggravated murder because she had committed an induced abortion, as the prosecutors claimed during the trial.
Medical examiners revealed the fetus died of aspiration pneumonia, having discovered meconium, a newborn’s first fecal matter, in the baby’s stomach and lungs.
Despite the autopsy result, Evelyn was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
10 /10 Unaware Of Pregnancy
Evelyn has always maintained that she was raped during her first year in college in 2015. The rape resulted in a pregnancy, a condition she claimed to have been unaware of.
According to her testimony, she still occasionally menstruated after the rape, so she thought pregnancy was highly unlikely.
On April 6, 2016, she experienced abdominal pain and entered a restroom, oblivious of the existence of a fetus in her womb. Inside the toilet, she passed out due to heavy bleeding after giving birth to a stillborn boy.
9 /10 Arrested At Hospital
Her mother, a domestic worker, found Evelyn unconscious and covered in blood. She hailed a pickup truck and called her daughter to the nearest hospital about 30 minutes away from their home in El Carmen, a town outside San Salvador.
On the way to the hospital, the mother didn’t know if Evelyn had suffered an obstetric emergency.
At the emergency room and after a quick examination, the medical staff notified police and prosecutors. Evelyn was arrested at the hospital, charged with aggravated homicide, and transferred to a women’s prison.