Last Updated: Friday, 24 November 2017, 06:46 GMT

El Salvador: Scandalous proposal to increase jail terms for women accused of abortion

Publisher Amnesty International
Publication Date 12 July 2016
Cite as Amnesty International, El Salvador: Scandalous proposal to increase jail terms for women accused of abortion, 12 July 2016, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/578638684.html [accessed 24 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

A new proposal by a group of parliamentarians from opposition party ARENA in El Salvador to increase jail terms for women accused of having an abortion to up to 50 years is scandalous, irresponsible and flies on the face of basic human rights standards, Amnesty International said.

"Parliamentarians in El Salvador are playing a very dangerous game with the lives of millions of women. Banning life-saving abortions in all circumstances is atrocious but seeking to raise jail terms for women who seek an abortion or those who provide support is simply despicable," said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

"Instead of continuing to criminalize women, authorities in El Salvador must repeal the outdated anti-abortion law once and for all."

Following a change in the Penal Code in 1998, abortion in El Salvador has been banned in all circumstances - even when the pregnancy is the result of rape, incest or when the life of the woman is at risk. The current jail term in the Penal Code is from 2 to 8 years. The change in the law has led to wrongful prosecutions and misapplication of criminal law where women are immediately assumed guilty. Women with few economic resources are particularly affected by the ban.

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