A new proposal by a group of parliamentarians from opposition party ARENA in El Salvador to increase jail terms for women accused of having an abortion to up to 50 years is scandalous, irresponsible and flies on the face of basic human rights standards, Amnesty International said.
“Parliamentarians in El Salvador are playing a very dangerous game with the lives of millions of women. Banning life-saving abortions in all circumstances is atrocious but seeking to raise jail terms for women who seek an abortion or those who provide support is simply despicable,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.
“Instead of continuing to criminalize women, authorities in El Salvador must repeal the outdated anti-abortion law once and for all.”
Following a change in the Penal Code in 1998, abortion in El Salvador has been banned in all circumstances – even when the pregnancy is the result of rape, incest or when the life of the woman is at risk. The current jail term in the Penal Code is from 2 to 8 years. The change in the law has led to wrongful prosecutions and misapplication of criminal law where women are immediately assumed guilty. Women with few economic resources are particularly affected by the ban.