Yesterday the Supreme Court of El Salvador heard open arguments in a case where they will determine if doctors can administer a medically necessary abortion for a woman who could die as a result of her pregnancy.
“Beatriz”, who is currently 22 and is already the mother of a young infant, was diagnosed with multiple severe illnesses including kidney failure and lupus and is now 23 weeks pregnant. In addition, the fetus will not survive more than a few days outside the womb (if at all) due to a severe fetal abnormality where part of the brain does not develop. Doctors fear that if she continues with the pregnancy, Beatriz could lose her life. However, abortion in any circumstance is illegal in El Salvador and if Beatriz and her doctors proceed with the abortion without approval from the Supreme Court they could face up to 30 years in jail for aggravated homicide.
Yesterday, Beatriz and her mother pleaded before the Supreme Court to allow the abortion. Beatriz reiterated a statement that was released last week, “This baby inside me cannot survive. I am ill. I want to live.” Her mother, Delmy, told the court, “My daughter wants to live for her one year old baby. She doesn’t want it to be left alone. Therefore I ask you, like the mother that I am, I don’t want my daughter to die. My daughter’s life is your hands” [Spanish translated by FMF].