Too many women incarcerated in El Savador for suffering miscarriages

Hundreds of women are serving prison sentences in El Salvador because they have had an abortion or miscarriage

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Virginia Lopez Calvo works for the Central America Women’s Network

Sonia Tabora is being treated as a criminal but she is only a victim of Salvadoran discriminatory and fundamentalist policies.

soniaAfter years of pressure, a coalition of feminist and women’s groups have guaranteed a revision of Sonia Tabora’s sentence of 30 years imprisonment for aggravated murder in El Salvador.

Sonia has already served seven years of the sentence having suffered a miscarriage in 2005, after going into premature labour with an obstetric complication.

That a 22 years old woman is being charged with murder after an incident over which she had no control is the result of an extremely strict ban on all abortions in El Salvador.

The ban, which does not allow any exception even in cases of rape, incest, threat to the mother’s life or severe foetal abnormality, is the doing of Catholic fundamentalists who wield a great deal of political and economic influence in the Central American region and are thus able to dictate that contraception, the emergency (morning after) pill, sex education and abortion are immoral and illegal.

The fact that maternal death is high, with rates of between 100 to 120 deaths per 100,000 live births in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala, all of which share similar legislation on abortion, and that a leading cause of maternal mortality is unsafe abortion (including attempts to provoke self-abortion), which amounts to 95% of all abortions in Central America, does not waiver the notion of morality of these religious lords.

The fact that hundreds of women are serving prison sentences because they have had an abortion or miscarriage (628 from 1998 only in El Salvador), and that the majority of those dead or imprisoned women are illiterate, poor and young, reflecting existing inequalities, has not affected the moral stance of the Church on abortion.

 


See also:

The costs and consequences of Dorries’s abortion proposals 31 Aug 2011

If anti-abortionists have their way on counselling, what will they demand next? 31 Aug 2011

Government leaning dangerously towards anti-abortion groups 25 May 2011


 

Sadly even governments in the region that implement progressive maternal health policies continue to hold harsh anti-abortion policies. This is the case in Nicaragua, which has health and nutrition programmes, as well as childbirth plans, training of midwives and a family planning and contraceptive programme but abortion has been illegal there on all counts since 2008.

The weight of the Catholic Church diktat not only reaches Central America but countries across the world, including in the ‘developed’ world. Irish women travel to the UK to undergo abortion, and the Spanish Conservative party, which took power in 2011, is now seeking to reverse legislation in order to prohibit abortion when the foetus is severely malformed.

Secular states should remain so and should make no mistake about democracy and economic growth automatically bringing sexual and reproductive rights for women, as patriarchal values remain unchallenged in poor and rich countries alike.

Virginia Lopez Calvo works for the Central America Women’s Network, based in London, and has spent many years campaigning against violations of women’s rights as a result of patriarchal values that aim to control women’s reproduction and sexuality and which perpetuate gender inequality.

 


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35 Responses to “Too many women incarcerated in El Savador for suffering miscarriages”

  1. julie reid

    Too many women are being incarcerated in El Savador after suffering miscarriages: http://t.co/8fjjpXYy by @CAWNetwork’s Virginia Lopez Calvo

  2. NewsatLeft

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  3. NewsatLeft

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  4. leftlinks

    Left Foot Forward – Too many women incarcerated in El Savador for suffering miscarriages http://t.co/CBj6UHWJ

  5. David Jones

    Too many women are being incarcerated in El Savador after suffering miscarriages: http://t.co/8fjjpXYy by @CAWNetwork’s Virginia Lopez Calvo

  6. Kathleen Mulvey

    Too many women are being incarcerated in El Savador after suffering miscarriages: http://t.co/8fjjpXYy by @CAWNetwork’s Virginia Lopez Calvo

  7. Chitra Nagarajan

    Too many women incarcerated in El Savador for suffering miscarriages | #prochoice http://t.co/BtWiStaO

  8. Ed Rennie

    Too many women incarcerated in El Savador for suffering miscarriages | #prochoice http://t.co/BtWiStaO

  9. Diane Lawrence

    RT @leftfootfwd: Too many women incarcerated in El Savador for suffering miscarriages http://t.co/sgPL1vKW

  10. Shamik Das

    Too many women are being incarcerated in El Savador after suffering miscarriages: http://t.co/8fjjpXYy by @CAWNetwork’s Virginia Lopez Calvo

  11. Nikki Jayne

    I’ve heard it all now. Absolutely bloody terrifying.

  12. Ebony Marshman

    Too many women incarcerated in El Savador for suffering miscarriages | #prochoice http://t.co/BtWiStaO

  13. anna

    Too many women incarcerated in El Savador for suffering miscarriages | #prochoice http://t.co/BtWiStaO

  14. Celtic Bedouin

    Too many women are being incarcerated in El Savador after suffering mi, writes @CAWNetwork's Virginia Lopez Calvo: http://t.co/8fjjpXYy

  15. Rowan Harvey

    RT @leftfootfwd: Too many women incarcerated in El Savador after miscarriages, from @CAWNetwork's Virginia Lopez Calvo: http://t.co/a34pgM4V

  16. Abortion Rights

    Too many women incarcerated in El Savador for suffering miscarriages http://t.co/lExXCcPw @leftfootfwd #abortion

  17. Arelis Z. Castillo

    Too many women incarcerated in El Savador for suffering miscarriages http://t.co/lExXCcPw @leftfootfwd #abortion

  18. BPAS

    Too Many Women Incarcerated in El Savador for Suffering Miscarriages http://t.co/6ruFd6Ek @CAWNetwork writes for @leftfootfwd

  19. The Astell Project

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  20. EdinburghEye

    This is what #prolife looks like: women jailed for having miscarriages http://t.co/gknTfdbu #Prochoice = #HumanRights Support @CAWNetwork

  21. James Grindrod

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  22. Mel Whitter

    RT @Abortion_Rights: Too many women incarcerated in El Savador for suffering miscarriages http://t.co/jhqKFoZh > this shit makes me angry!!

  23. Ronnie Barko

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  24. Week Woman

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  25. sillypunk

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  26. Realtin Connor

    MT @EyeEdinburgh: This is what #prolife looks like: women jailed for having miscarriages http://t.co/oBD0P3jr #Prochoice = #HumanRights

  27. Cath Andrews

    RT @bpas1968: Too Many Women Incarcerated in El Savador for Suffering Miscarriages http://t.co/EwWk4H7J @CAWNetwork writes for @leftfootfwd

  28. AbortionSupportNtwk

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  29. NotHidingUnderTheBed

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  30. Claudine Letsae

    Too many women are being incarcerated in El Savador after suffering miscarriages: http://t.co/8fjjpXYy by @CAWNetwork’s Virginia Lopez Calvo

  31. Laura F

    Too many women incarcerated in El Savador for suffering miscarriages http://t.co/lExXCcPw @leftfootfwd #abortion

  32. Sarah

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  33. juan ramirez

    Too many women are being incarcerated in El Savador after suffering miscarriages: http://t.co/8fjjpXYy by @CAWNetwork’s Virginia Lopez Calvo

  34. Barbara Hastings

    Too Many Women Incarcerated in El Savador for Suffering Miscarriages http://t.co/6ruFd6Ek @CAWNetwork writes for @leftfootfwd

  35. Marie-Louise Irvine

    Too many women are being incarcerated in El Savador after suffering mi, writes @CAWNetwork's Virginia Lopez Calvo: http://t.co/8fjjpXYy

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