Teodora Vásquez was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment in 2007, because she suffered a miscarriage.
However, under El Salvador’s anti-abortion law, her case was prosecuted as a “homicide”. Vásquez has so far spent 10 years in prison, during which she had filed an appeal against her conviction in 2007.
Now, her appeal has been rejected and her conviction upheld by the tribunal which presided over her case. Amnesty International has described El Salvador as “a nation known as the worst place in the world for women’s reproductive rights.”
The strictly Catholic El Salvador operates “anti-abortion laws that make no exception for rape, incest or the health of the mother.” Since 1998 when El Salvador prohibited all abortions, even if pregnancy results from rape or incest; or if it poses threat to a woman’s life, the woman must carry the pregnancy to term, Amnesty said.
“It is estimated that between 1998 and 2013, more than 600 women were jailed after being accused of having had an abortion,” says the Centre for Reproductive Rights. According to Amnesty International, 3 out of 8 maternal deaths in El Salvador, are suicides by pregnant girls under the age of 19.