The case of “Beatriz,” the pseudonym of a Salvadoran woman denied a life-saving abortion in country where abortion is illegal without any exception whatsoever has drawn international attention, controversy, disbelief and advocacy, organizing and activism, including this Care2 petition, which collected over 27.000 signatures.
In the latest development, Monday, Beatriz underwent a Caesarian section and had an “induced birth” and not — officially, at least — an abortion. Yet, as Jodi Jacobson writes at RH Reality Check, Beatriz “had a hysterotomy, a form of abortion carried out through c-section.” In other words, thanks to the dominance of conservative sectors like the Catholic Church and anti-choice movements in El Salvador, people are pretending an abortion isn’t an abortion.
Because the 22-year old woman suffers from lupus and kidney problems and almost died during the delivery of her first child, Beatriz’s doctors had wanted to terminate Beatriz’s pregnancy, which they feared would kill her. Also, the fetus had anacephely, a severe and fatal birth defect in which parts of the brain and skull are missing. The longest a baby born with anacephaly can live is days.
Thus Beatriz’s case seemed particularly sympathetic, given that the pregnancy wasn’t viable anyway. But none of this mattered in a country where abortion is illegal even in cases of rape, incest or for the health and even life of a mother. And when doctors asked for a guarantee that they wouldn’t be prosecuted if they performed an abortion, they were denied.