El Salvadoran Woman Denied Life-Saving Abortion Of Brain-less Fetus

by
Owen Poindexter
The Supreme Court of El Salvador ruled that a woman may not have a abortion, despite the fact that her life is seriously threatened by the fetus, who has virtually no chance of survival, even if carried to term.


Protestors in El Salvador demand that Beatriz be given the right to have a life-saving abortion of her non-viable fetus. PHOTO: Amnesty International. Take action via Amnesty International for Beatriz here.
 
The Supreme Court of El Salvador ruled that a woman may not have a abortion, despite the fact that her life is seriously threatened by the fetus, who has virtually no chance of survival, even if carried to term. The woman, 22, who goes by Beatriz (she is not using her last name to protect her identity), could become a literal casualty of the small Central American country's strict anti-abortion stance. Beatriz sought an exemption from the rule, but she was denied.

"We cannot appeal the case because this was the last step, the Supreme Court," said Victor Hugo Mata, Beatriz's lawyer to CBS News.
 
Beatriz suffers from an illness which is exacerbated by her pregnancy. Doctors have told her that she is unlikely to live through the birthing process. Her baby is an anencephalic fetus, meaning it has no brain, and will likely die after just a few hours after being born.

The Supreme Court of El Salvador, however, decided that they know better than Beatriz's doctors.

"They [the Supreme Court] were not convinced this is the way... they are saying Beatriz is not in danger and she must pursue the natural way of delivery and we must see what happens," said Mata.

Abortion isn't an easy issue, but this is an easy case. Beatriz will probably die if she brings her baby to term. The baby will die within a day of being born no matter what. The El Salvador Supreme Court's ruling puts Beatriz in sever danger. We don't call that murder, because murder generally involves killing someone more directly, but if Beatriz dies giving birth, we can place the blame squarely on the Supreme Court.

Hopefully this story ends with Beatriz finding her way to a less repressive country and getting an abortion. Hopefully the story teaches more people that abortions can save lives and should be legal, and at the discretion of a woman, her doctor, and whomever else she chooses to consult.

Carbonated.TV