Jean has issued a statement calling for the abolition of a law prohibiting all cases of abortion – and even criminalising miscarriage victims – in El Salvador.
On the criminalisation of abortion in El Salvador
I support the campaign by the Central America Women’s Network and its Salvadoran partner, the Citizen Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion, to end the ban on abortions on any grounds in El Salvador.
State prosecutors have used a constitutional amendment which declares that life begins at conception and have charged women who have miscarried or had complications in their pregnancies, or illegal abortions with aggravated homicide. When they arrived at public healthcare facilities, often haemorrhaging and unconscious, they were accused of provoking an abortion and were turned over to the police. Many of the women were arrested and taken directly from the hospital to the jail. Some of these women have received prison sentences of up to 40 years.
I also support the demand made on 1 April 2014 to the government of El Salvador by the Salvadoran Citizen Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion – ACDATEE – to grant pardons for 17 Salvadoran women imprisoned for pregnancy complications, which is supported by many thousands of people in El Salvador and internationally.
These 17 women deserve prompt, compassionate, and humanitarian attention. Within the framework of Salvadoran legislation including the Special Law for Appeals of Grace, the Constitution of the Republic of El Salvador, the Convention of Belem do Para, and other national and international human rights legislation, the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly and the President of the Republic have the power grant these 17 women freedom through pardons so that they may return to their families and continue with their lives.