A woman in El Salvador demonstrates against the criminalization of abortion (2017)
Photo: MARVIN RECUNES/ AFP
In strict Catholic El Salvador, a 21-year-old woman has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for allegedly killing her newborn.
According to prosecutors, Lesly Lisbeth Ramírez gave birth to a girl on June 17, 2020 at her home.
This is said to have stabbed her.
During the trial, prosecutors stated that Ramírez hid the pregnancy from her relatives.
Her family took the young woman to a hospital after giving birth.
There Ramírez was arrested.
At that time she was 19 years old.
The defense dismissed the allegations, arguing that Ramírez did not know she was pregnant.
She would have had to go to the toilet and not know that she was in labour.
“She was a first-time mother and didn't know what was happening to her at the time.
She went to the latrine and vomited something, but she didn't know what it was," Ramírez's attorney, Aby Cortez, told CNN.
The baby is said to have been born prematurely and died after birth.
In El Salvador, pregnant women who have an abortion or lose their child are considered murderers - even one miscarriage can lead from the hospital to prison.
Feminist organizations that have accompanied Ramírez claim she suffered an emergency.
They point out that this is the first time in history that the maximum penalty has been applied since abortion was fully criminalized, as reported by El País.
"This is the story of a chain of injustices," says Morena Herrera, chair of the Citizens' Association for the Decriminalization of Abortion in El Salvador.
Ramírez is the third of seven siblings in a family that lives in poverty, has no drinking water or electricity and survives on farm work.
Ramírez could only study up to the seventh grade, after which she had to take care of her younger siblings.
"The state has always stayed out of her life and that of her family," says the organization, according to "El País."
The decision comes just two weeks after the US Supreme Court overturned abortion laws.
"Since the ruling by the US Supreme Court, conservative positions have been represented more strongly again," says Herrera.
El Salvador is one of the countries with the most restrictive abortion laws in the world.
The country has had a law since 1997 that prohibits voluntary termination of pregnancy under any circumstances.
And many of the women are not even convicted of the crime of abortion, but of murder, as in the case of Ramírez.