by Kathy Bougher
May 6, 2015 – 10:37 am, RH Reality Check
Carmelina Pérez, a Honduran woman living in El Salvador, was convicted of aggravated homicide and sentenced to 30 years in prison in July 2014 after suffering what appeared to be a miscarriage in the home where she was employed as a domestic worker. Pérez is not one of “Las 17,” the group of women imprisoned on abortion-related charges and for whom the La Agrupación Ciudadana por la Despenalización del Aborto (Citizen Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion) requested pardons from the Salvadoran government, because her case had not yet gone to trial at the time of their requests. Her story mirrors theirs, however: She, too, had her obstetrical emergency criminalized.
But last week, she was acquitted of all charges after 16 months in prison, setting a possible new precedent in the fight for reproductive justice in El Salvador.
In addition to creating a joyous victory for Pérez, now 21 years old, her trial provides an opportunity to expose and analyze in detail the medical and legal injustices that women frequently face in El Salvador. Continue reading