Hundreds of Salvadoran women presented to Congress on Tuesday a proposal to legalize abortion in some cases, now completely prohibited and harshly punished in the country, at a time when President Nayib Bukele has already closed the door to that possibility.
It is a request for reform of the Penal Code to decriminalize abortion in three causes, Morena Herrera, leader of the Citizen Group for the Decriminalization of Therapeutic, Ethical and Eugenic Abortion (ACDATEE) explained.
These are, “the possibility of interrupting the pregnancy to save the life and health of women and girls”, also “when a fetal malformation has been detected that is incompatible with extrauterine life”, and finally when the pregnancy “is a result of sexual violence”.
Global Day of Action for Legal and Safe Abortion
With green scarves around their necks and shouting slogans in favor of their rights, the women gathered in a park in the southwestern sector of San Salvador. The demonstration occurs on the Global Day of Action for Legal and Safe Abortion.
Many carried small posters with slogans such as “we all have the right to decide about our lives”, while on a large green blanket they put “decide is my right, legal abortion now.” In front of the legislative headquarters, the women raised their green handkerchiefs and later a delegation presented the reform proposal with the support of several deputies, including members of the leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN).
The President opposed
This request comes after Bukele withdrew in mid-September a constitutional reform proposal, drawn up by his own government, which opened the door to legalize therapeutic abortion. “I have decided, so that there is no doubt, not to propose any type of reform to any article that has to do with the right to life (from the moment of conception), with marriage (keeping only the original design, a man and woman), or with euthanasia, “the president wrote then on Twitter.
Salvadoran legislation prohibits abortion in all cases and establishes penalties of up to eight years in prison. Prosecutors and judges classify some cases of abortion, including involuntary ones, as “aggravated homicide”, punishable by up to 50 years in prison.
Under this legislation, 17 women who for obstetric emergencies sought assistance in public hospitals were charged with aggravated homicide and are serving prison terms. From 2009 to date, 53 women have regained their freedom through different legal channels, sponsored by feminist groups.