El Salvador: Women Can Be Jailed for Miscarrying

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Latin America is known for having some of the harshest anti-abortion laws, but El Salvador's may be the toughest.

According to BBC News, women in El Salvador who suffer a miscarriage or experience a stillbirth are often accused of inducing an abortion, and can even be jailed for murder.

Since being put into law in 1998, the total ban on abortion has forced many raped, poor and at-risk women to proceed with their pregnancies. The restriction has also led to the imprisonment of hundreds of women in the country.

Research by the Citizens Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion found that, between 2000 and 2011, 129 women were prosecuted and 49 were convicted. Twenty-six of those convicted were convicted for murder and 23 for abortion.

The Center for Reproductive Rights reports that of these 129 prosecuted women, 60 percent were turned in to police by health professionals and 23 percent were accused by family members or neighbors.

Morena Herrera of Citizens Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion said that this trend is now making many of these women "too afraid to seek medical help."

Another serious implication stemming from El Salvador's anti-abortion law? In 2011, suicide was the most common cause of death among 10 to 19 year old girls whom were pregnant.

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Priscilla Rodriguez, Associate Editor

Priscilla Rodriguez is Latina.com’s Associate Editor. She provides coverage on nearly every topic with a focus on celebrity entertainment. Before hitting the pavement at Latina, Priscilla worked for various outlets including Teen.com, InStyle and Us Weekly. You can follow her on Twitter @priscilrodrig.

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