In El Salvador, a Miscarriage Is Considered Murder
Women jailed for decades on charges
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Oct 18, 2013 1:20 PM CDT
Female inmates are seen at the women's prison of Ilopango in San Salvador, El Salvador, in this June 26, 2012 file photo.   (AP Photo/Luis Romero)

(Newser) – Glenda Xiomara Cruz hadn't known she was pregnant when the pain and bleeding started last October. The 19-year-old went to the nearest public hospital, where she had a miscarriage, and had to undergo two operations to save her own life. Then, before she was even out of the hospital she was charged with aggravated murder. Last month she was sentenced to 10 years in prison, the BBC reports. The prosecution relied heavily on testimony from her husband, who her father says domestically abused her.

Xiomara's case isn't an anomaly in El Salvador, where abortion is illegal without exception. From 2000 to 2011, 129 women have been prosecuted, and 49 convicted. There's a "presumption of guilt" in the system, explains lawyer Dennis Munoz Estanley, who has worked with 29 of the jailed women. He says only one of them intentionally induced her abortion—the rest "suffered natural obstetric complications." What's more, they are almost all poor, and were reported by public hospitals. Private hospitals have never reported a single case to the police.

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May 12, 2015 6:55 AM CDT
That's one seriously misogynist culture. Don't arrest the husband who beat her, arrest her instead. Insane.
Oct 20, 2013 9:56 AM CDT
The way the story is written we all agree a conviction for a natural miscarriage is unacceptable. This is a Trial by Jury, and the jury is believing that these are induced abortions. The article says that these convictions are 49 women out of 129 women were jailed in 11 years. If one is on the jury, the Prosecution can prove the case for forced abortion, abortion is against the law, then a jurist must convict. If they don't like it they need to change their laws or stop inducing your own abortion.
Oct 19, 2013 10:49 PM CDT
Would that be called a miscarriage of justice. Here we call murder of unborn justice. Both are wrong