Rape Victim Sentenced To Murder And 30 Years In Jail After Stillbirth

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In El Salvador, where anti-abortion laws are hurting women's lives, a 19-year-old rape victim is sentenced to 30 years after having a stillbirth.

Although women's rights in the United States have been a long-standing battle, the fight is far worse in other countries around the world.

In El Salvador, abortion has been criminalized for the past 20 years, resulting in many women going to jail due to prosecutors being unable to tell between a miscarriage and an abortion, or women being forced to continue dangerous pregnancies, The Guardian reported.

Most recently, a teenage rape victim has been sentenced to 30 years in jail for murder after having a stillbirth last year, according to BBC.

Prosecutors convicted 19-year-old Evelyn Beatriz Hernandez Cruz in rural El Salvador, saying that she avoided prenatal care and threw the baby into the toilet with intentions to kill him, The Guardian reported. 

In April 2016, in her third trimester, Hernandez was suffering from stomach and back pain, eventually birthing the baby into the toilet, which also caused her to faint from the amount of blood loss. Police arrested her after discovering the baby and assuming she had an abortion. 

El Salvador hospital

Hernandez, who was in a forced sexually abusive relationship with a gang member, said she didn't know she was pregnant. She had confused bleeding with her menstrual period. She only realized it after the toilet incident, and when she had severe pain in her abdomen.

According to medical experts, it's unconfirmed whether the baby died after delivery or in utero.

The judge is also suggesting her mother, who drove her to the hospital after the birth, is criminally responsible. 

"The judge's verdict doesn't reflect the evidence presented in court," Dennis Munoz, her lawyer, told The Guardian. "It's a decision based on morality, not the law or justice." 

Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty International's director for the Americas, agrees: "El Salvador's anti-abortion law is causing nothing but pain and suffering to countless women and girls and their families."

Thumbnail/banner image credit: Flickr user Dave Nakayama

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