El Salvador to Pregnant Women: Drop Dead
El Salvador’s Supreme Court decided late last night not to allow a 22-year-old woman named “Beatriz” (an alias) to have an abortion, even though she is at risk of serious injury as a result of the pregnancy—and despite the fact that the fetus has an almost zero chance of survival because of its own health issues.
All abortion is illegal in El Salvador but Beatriz’s supporters hoped the Supreme Court would make an exception in this case. After deliberating for fifteen-days, the Salvadoran Supreme Court revealed the fate of Beatriz, the nom de guerre of the five-month-pregnant 22-year-old woman who had legally appealing for a potentially life-saving “therapeutic abortion.” That’s not to say she’ll die when she gives birth in four months—though it’s a possibility, considering she suffers from lupus, an illness which has given her kidney disease as one of its many side-effects, not to mention her fetus is anencephalic, which means it’s missing parts of its brain or skull and thus will live anywhere from only minutes to mere weeks.
Also hanging in the balance these past two weeks was the question: In this staunchly Catholic country—which has declared all abortion illegal since 1998, even in cases of rape, incest, or maternal mortality—would this young woman win the right to choose for or against an abortion in the name of her own health and safety.