El Salvador court commutes woman’s 30-year sentence for abortion
The ruling said Teodora del Carmen Vasquez had not been shown to have taken any action to end the pregnancy.
El Salvador’s Supreme Court has commuted the sentence of a woman serving 30 years in prison for what she says was a stillbirth.
The court ruled the evidence in the case did not prove she took any specific action to abort the pregnancy, which is illegal in El Salvador, and thus was eligible for a form of clemency.
Teodora del Carmen Vasquez said she was working in 2007 when she began to experience intense pain, then bleeding. She called for help before fainting. When she regained consciousness she had lost her nearly full-term baby.
Authorities charged Ms Vasquez with aggravated murder and she was convicted in 2008.
Encouraging to see Teodora stepping out of jail, where she should have never been in the first place, but #ElSalvador must urgently repeal the outrageous abortion ban which has created a context of discrimination, pain and injustice against women & girls https://t.co/LsOwQdjTIs pic.twitter.com/vRBvKx7G48— Erika Guevara-Rosas (@ErikaGuevaraR) February 15, 2018
In December, a court rejected her appeal against the sentence.
El Salvador is one of four Latin American countries with total bans on abortion.
The human rights group Amnesty International said Ms Vasquez’ release “must open the door for an end to the country’s extreme anti-abortion law”.