A 22 year old woman going by the pseudo name Beatriz is fighting for her life in El Salvador. Beatriz is five months pregnant and has lupus and kidney problems. Her fetus has a birth defect called anencephaly (the fetus is missing parts of its brain and skull) that will cause it to die. In order to live Beatriz needs an abortion. Her doctors want to perform the abortion because they believe there is a strong chance of maternal death.
They fear she may die because of her current complications and the complications of her last pregnancy. Beatriz almost died when giving birth to her 14 month old son. She had many complications with her pregnancy due to her illnesses, and had to have an emergency C-section. Her son was also in the hospital for over a month after he was born because of digestive and respiratory problems. Her doctors fear they will go to jail if they perform a medical abortion.
In 1998, El Salvador passed a strict abortion law that prohibited all abortions for any reason even medical, incest and rape. El Salvador has jailed 628 women for having abortions since 1998. Some of these women have been sentenced for 30 years. This is a little ridiculous if you ask me. If that many women are getting abortions even when prohibited by law then why have the laws not been changed? It just makes sense to me. Women need access to abortions, especially in countries that are predominantly Catholic and therefore have not/do not have access and promotion of birth control. I believe the state and the church need to be separate in all cases. The church should not be in control of women’s rights, reproductive or other wise.
Women need abortions, especially medical ones. The laws need to change to save Beatriz. Without the laws changing then more women will end up like Savita Halappanavar. I hope that Beatriz and any other women who needs an abortion will be able to get one. When the women’s life is in danger there is no “moral”, legal or religious reason that a woman should not be able to have an abortion.