Legalized Barbarism: Fighting for reproductive justice in El Salvador

Upon reading the first lines of Andrew Buncombe’s article, I felt the overwhelming urge to say “thank you.” His article gives voice to women, like Maria Teresa Rivera, who have been unjustly punished for being poor in a country where such harsh and unjust laws exist—laws which only apply to women without access to information or services and living in violence who lack support. Penalizing any kind of interruption of a pregnancy, denouncing and imprisoning women who suffer pregnancy complications that end in miscarriages— this law is a tragedy that we cannot allow to continue.

Healthcare workers, defenders of women’s human rights in the country and international agencies of the United Nations, among others, have raised their voices in order to curb this barbarism. Actors of the local political class have also expressed shame with the law, as well as their desire to halt this injustice.

While it is true that the reform of this abhorrent law is ultimately in the hands of the El Salvadorian government, it is in our hands to publicly condemn this situation and to offer our support to achieve legal, cultural and spiritual change. Because we cannot, we will not, remain indifferent to such injustice.

MARTA MARIA BLANDON
Country Director of IPAS,
Central America

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