- George Zimmerman is suing Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren 2 Years Ago
- Netflix’s ‘Horse Girl’ accused of ripping off 2017 indie film 2 Years Ago
- The Genyus Network is a safe social space for stroke survivors 2 Years Ago
- MAGA hat-wearing dog finishes last in ‘Today Show’ fan vote—still named winner 2 Years Ago
- Reddit users share stories of the worst things guests have done in their homes Today 1:25 PM
- WikiLeaks lawyer says Trump offered Assange a pardon—if he’d deny Russian hack Today 1:16 PM
- 6-year-old placed in psychiatric facility for ‘trantrum’ is seen acting calm in body cam footage Today 1:05 PM
- Amy Klobuchar devouring Ivanka Trump is the 2020 vore crossover no one wanted Today 12:32 PM
- Review: Hulu’s ‘Devs’ is a brilliant work of near-future science fiction Today 11:53 AM
- Rapper Pop Smoke dead at 20 Today 11:42 AM
- KSI says he will back Team YouTube if Logan Paul fights Antonio Brown Today 11:29 AM
- William Barr questions whether tech companies should be protected for user content Today 11:10 AM
- The Bloomberg campaign has reached its post-parody zenith Today 10:35 AM
- Ben Affleck explains why he lied about his back tattoo Today 10:28 AM
- Kim Kardashian West accidentally praises Jeff Bezos for threatening to fire employees Today 10:19 AM
A 37-year-old woman in El Salvador will spend the next two decades in jail because she gave birth to a stillborn baby in 2007, the Huffington Post reports.
Teodora Vasquez was arrested after she fainted at work and miscarried her child, and has spent the last ten years behind bars after being charged with committing an “aggravated homicide.” Though Amnesty International spent this week trying to appeal the case on behalf of Vasquez, the court upheld the 30-year sentence.
An outrageous travesty of justice: #Teodora faces another 20 years in jail on top of the ten she has already served in #ElSalvador, after suffering a miscarriage. We will not give up fighting for you, Teodora https://t.co/n2VzNYNgzA pic.twitter.com/ifVgOh6KTB— Salil Shetty (@SalilShetty) December 14, 2017
El Salvador has had a total ban on abortion—which is the strictest in the world—since 1998 and women who experience miscarriages often spend time in jail. Currently, 28 women sit behind bars for similar charges as Vasquez’s, according to Reuters.
“Teodora’s tragic story is a sad illustration of everything that is wrong with the justice system in El Salvador, where human rights seem to be a foreign concept,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty’s Americas director. “Instead of punishing Teodora for being a woman, authorities in El Salvador must urgently take a hard look at their outrageous anti-abortion law and take immediate steps to repeal it.”
Earlier this year, the United Nation condemned El Salvador’s law against abortion, which does not allow for exception even in cases of rape, incest, or in instances that could prove fatal for the mother. This week, as Vasquez’s case drew international coverage, people on Twitter also called for the end of the law.
Want to lower abortion rate? Stop believing it’s just moral failing that leads to pregnancy termination before we end up like El Salvador.— Keith Allen (@keithwadeallen) December 15, 2017
The amount of girls that get raped and cannot get an abortion due to getting imprisoned?? In El Salvador?? In 2017?? It's disgusting— jenni (@cryztallize) December 14, 2017
This is ultimately what the Pro-life movement is after. There are many men and some women who would not grant a legal abortion even to save a woman's life. This decision does not belong to a religious group & El Salvador is proof of how wrong governments get it. Women's rights. https://t.co/fUHoUq3mRo— debraj1121 (@debraj112) December 14, 2017
Not everyone in the United States disagrees with El Salvador, however. The Guardian reports that anti-abortion group Human Life International has quietly funded Sí a la Vida, the Salvadoran organization principally responsible for the country’s abortion ban, since 2000.
Vasquez’s lawyer, Victor Hugo Mata said her case cannot be appealed again and that there’s not much hope that her fate will change.
Tess Cagle is a reporter who focuses on politics, lifestyle, and streaming entertainment. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Texas Monthly, the Austin American-Statesman, Damn Joan, and Community Impact Newspaper. She’s also a portrait, events, and live music photographer in Central Texas.