A 22-year-old woman in El Salvador, whose pseudonym is Beatriz, is currently in the hospital, waiting for an abortion that could save her life. Her doctors want to terminate her pregnancy. So, why haven’t they? Because they fear being prosecuted under El Salvador’s laws, which prohibit abortion in all cases with no exceptions for rape, incest, the health of the mother or the life of the mother. You can sign the Care2 petition asking El Salvador’s Supreme Court to guarantee that Beatriz and her doctors will not be prosecuted for undergoing and performing a life-saving procedure here. Sadly, El Salvador isn’t the only country to ban abortion in all cases with no exceptions whatsoever. Here are the five countries that do.
In 1967, Chile legalized abortion when it was necessary to save the mother’s life. In 1989 President Augusto Pinochet (Right Wing Dictator and egregious human rights offender) made abortion illegal under all circumstances. Pinochet is long gone, yet his draconian abortion laws remain in effect. In 2006, President Michelle Bachelet authorized government distribution of the morning-after pill to women 14 and older. Two years later, however, Chile’s Constitutional Tribunal ended this program.
In 1998, the government of El Salvador passed a new penal code banning all abortions without exception. An earlier law allowed abortions in cases of threats to the health or life of the woman, rape, incest or severe fetal abnormality. A 1999 constitutional amendment defined a human being from the moment of conception. An estimated 628 women have been imprisoned since the 1998 law was enacted for having abortions. Twenty-four of these women were indicted for “aggravated murder” after an abortion, or even after a miscarriage or stillbirth. If doctors find evidence of an abortion, they must report their patients to the police. Women seeking medical help after a botched abortion have been handcuffed to their hospital beds. For obvious reasons, it is unknown how many illegal abortions have been performed. But attempts to self-induce abortions are the second highest cause of maternal mortality in the country.