Appeal Case: May 2013
Country: El Salvador
Sexual and reproductive rights, Health concern, Maternal health
Presidente de la República de El Salvador
Alameda Dr. Manuel Enrique Araujo, No. 5500,
San Salvador, El Salvador
I am writing to you out of deep concern for the life of Beatriz. Beatriz, who is now four-and-a-half months into her pregnancy, suffers from health problems that put her life at risk. Beatriz has been diagnosed as being at high risk of pregnancy-related death if she continues with the pregnancy. She has been denied lifesaving treatment by doctors despite several requests to terminate her pregnancy in order to save her life. Three scans have confirmed that the fetus is anencephalic. Almost all babies with anencephaly die before birth or within a few hours or days after birth. The medical professionals have not acted in accordance with her wishes, as they will not carry out an abortion without the express assurance from the Salvadoran government that they will not face prosecution for administering the lifesaving treatment she needs.
I am calling on you to comply immediately with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights instruction of 29 April and provide Beatriz immediate and unfettered access to the lifesaving treatment, in accordance with her wishes and as recommended by her doctors, in order to save her life. I also urge you to immediately ensure that health professionals are able to provide the treatment Beatriz needs and wants without the threat, risk or fear of criminal prosecution. I am also calling on you to take steps to decriminalize abortion in all circumstances and ensure women and girls have safe and legal access to abortion services necessary to preserve their life or health, or if they are pregnant as a result of rape or incest.
Beatriz wants to live. She wants to see her one-year-old son grow up but as the court has yet to make a ruling, she doesn't know if she will live or die. Every additional day the government is debating the merits of her case, she is suffering mental and physical anguish amounting to cruel and inhuman treatment. Please grant her immediate access to the life-saving medical treatment she needs.
Thank you for your urgent attention to matter and I hope to hear back from you regarding the steps that you are taking to ensure that Beatriz is given the medical care she has requested.
Ambassador Francisco Altschul Fuentes
Embassy of El Salvador
1400 16th Street, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20036