Amnesty International has warned that a 22-year-old woman is going to die if the government of El Salvador does not give her a lifesaving abortion. Abortion is illegal in the country under all circumstances, even to save the life of the mother.
Beatriz, who is almost five months pregnant and already the mother of a one-year-old son, is carrying a fetus who is missing a large part of its brain and skull. The fetus is expected to die during or shortly after birth. This pregnancy is dangerous for Beatriz, as she also has lupus and kidney disease. El Salvador’s Supreme Court has been reviewing her plea to terminate the pregnancy for over a month; time is running out, as officials say she is now critically ill.
As was the case with Savita Halappanavar, who died in Ireland this October from toxemia (blood poisoning), doctors are refusing to perform a lifesaving abortion lest they face prosecution for breaking the law.
“Beatriz’s situation is desperate and must not wait any longer. Her very chances of survival depend on a decision from the authorities,” said Esther Major of Amnesty International in a statement. “The delay is nothing short of cruel and inhuman.”
Do the right thing, El Salvador. The whole world is watching.
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[Image of doctor with arms crossed at Shutterstock]