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Sat Dec 20, 2014, 08:44 PM

In El Salvador, 17 Women Imprisoned for Miscarriage Await Pardon

In El Salvador, 17 Women Imprisoned for Miscarriage Await Pardon
Friday, 19 December 2014 10:11
By Danica Jorden, Truthout | News Analysis

Seventeen women, ages 19 to 30 years old at their sentencing, remain in prison in El Salvador as international pressure rises to exonerate them.

The women were all convicted on the charge of "aggravated homicide" of a newborn. At least one of them underwent a psychiatric evaluation and exhibited intellectual disabilities. Most of them suffered miscarriages, premature births or stillbirths; all of them were poor and without access to prenatal care or obstetrical services; and the majority of them have been sentenced to - and are serving - 30 years in prison.

According to Julia Evelyn Martínez, university professor of economics in El Salvador and social advocate, these women have been wrongly accused and convicted of the crime of murder.

"One needs to understand that all of these cases deal with women who have lived and continue to live in situations of extreme financial need, without social support networks or access to quality health services," Martinez said. "Most of them had obstetrical problems during their pregnancies and suffered miscarriages or went through childbirth without either health or medical care. They arrived at public hospitals unconscious, bleeding, in search of assistance, at which point, in flagrant violation of professional ethics, they were reported, tried and sentenced, first for abortion and then for aggravated homicide, forcing them out of hospital and into prison."

More:
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/28092-in-el-salvador-17-women-imprisoned-for-miscarriage-await-pardon

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