We’re writing you to express our support for the reform to Article 133 of the Salvadoran Penal Code, courageously presented by Deputy Lorena Peņa and 12 other Deputies of the FMLN party, which seeks to decriminalize abortion under four exceptions recognized under international human rights law: to save the life and health of the woman, when the pregnancy is a result of rape, when there’s a fetal condition incompatible with life and for rape of a minor. These exemptions would help to diminish the negative effects that this extreme prohibition causes in the lives of Salvadoran women and girls.
Salvadoran girls and adolescents who are forced to continue unwanted pregnancies, which mostly result from sexual violence, are more likely to seek unsafe, illegal abortions, which endangers their lives, and puts their lives at risk, or to commit suicide for the lack of alternatives and options for ending a pregnancy.
The extreme prohibition on abortion under any circumstance prohibits health care providers from providing these services to women who have serious illnesses—heart disease, kidney disease, or when the woman has an ectopic pregnancy. These circumstances put her health at risk and if not addressed in time can be fatal.
This absolute criminalization also violates the human rights of women to live a life free from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and goes against the recommendations made by various United Nations human rights bodies.
This reform provides a path to life and hope for all these Salvadoran women and girls who are faced with complicated circumstances during their pregnancies, that have suffered obstetric emergencies and that have been victims of sexual violence—so they can keep fighting to reach their potential to live a free and full live and contribute to the advancement of Salvadoran society.
Thank you for your attention to this matter,