The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

El Salvador:
Woman Put in Jail for Miscarriage

Sep 2, 2019

Translated from Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle), the newspaper of the revolutionary workers’ group active in France.

Evelyn Hernandez of El Salvador was charged with homicide after her baby was stillborn. Under the laws criminalizing abortion in El Salvador, she faced 40 years in prison.

She was finally acquitted on August 19. One hundred women came to support her and chanted, “Attention, the feminist struggle is on the move in Latin America!”

The country's laws and officials are among the most repressive in Central America against abortion. Since 1998, abortion is illegal under all circumstances and punishable by two to eight years in prison. Judges often charge women with aggravated homicide and sentence them to 30 or even 50 years in prison. Women who miscarry are accused of aborting, especially in the working class.

Evelyn Hernandez was raped by a gang at age 17 and didn't even know she was pregnant until she lost her fetus in a bathroom in 2016. She was sentenced to 30 years and held behind bars for 33 months before El Salvador's Supreme Court overturned her conviction in February.

The public prosecutor charged her again, demanding 40 years in prison. But thanks to the mobilization of people in her support, he lost.