For the second time, the Salvadoran State will be judged by the Inter-American Court for violating women's reproductive rights.

It seeks that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights find El Salvador responsible for having violated Beatriz's rights and determine full reparation for the damages caused to her and her family.

The case highlighted a legal system that takes lives and violates human rights, such as the right to life and health.

Mexico City, January 12, 2022. On January 5, the case of Beatriz, a young Salvadoran woman who was denied timely access to a termination of pregnancy in 2013, was referred to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR). 

The government of Nayib Bukele will have the opportunity to change the history of thousands of women in El Salvador so that they have access to life-saving health services that respect their human rights," said María Antonieta Alcalde, director of Ipas Central America and Mexico (Ipas CAM), "We are confident that they will heed the call of international bodies to review their legislation and public policies and thereby protect women's rights.

For the young Salvadoran woman and her family, the absolute prohibition of termination of pregnancy subjected her to a tremendously unfair and painful process: to continue, for eight months, with an unviable pregnancy due to malformations of the product that prevented it from living outside the uterus and that, in addition, seriously affected her health, since she suffered from lupus.

In 2013, only after the intervention of the Inter-American Human Rights System (IAHRS), Beatriz was able to access a scheduled cesarean section, which seriously affected her life and health.

El Salvador is one of the few countries where abortion is totally prohibited under any circumstances, including when the pregnancy is the result of rape, when the woman's health or life is at risk, or when the product presents conditions incompatible with life outside the uterus.

"It is cruel, it is absurd that, in these cases, women cannot terminate the pregnancy. Beatriz suffered because of the negligence of an indolent state, which, so far, has not brought justice to her family or implemented the necessary measures to ensure that this case does not happen again," said María Antonieta Alcalde Castro, director of Ipas CAM.

"The total ban on abortion in El Salvador today continues to claim lives or unjustly condemn women to jail. For this reason, we celebrate that the IACHR has sent this case to the IACHR Court and we hope for a resolution favorable to women's rights and that it will bring justice to Beatriz."

In November 2020, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), in its Report on the Merits of the case, recommended that the State of El Salvador, among other measures, make full reparations for the violations against Beatriz and her family members; adopt legislative measures to enable the termination of pregnancy in situations of non-viability or incompatibility of the fetus with extrauterine life, as well as serious risk to the life, health and integrity of the woman; and adopt all necessary measures, including the design of public policies, to ensure that access to termination of pregnancy once it is legalized under these certain circumstances.

Today, at a joint press conference held by Ipas Central America and Mexico (Ipas CAM), the Feminist Collective for Local Development of El Salvador, the Citizens' Group for the Decriminalization of Therapeutic, Ethical and Eugenic Abortion of El Salvador and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) - all co-petitioners in the case before the ISHR - we communicated our expectation that the trial of the case before the Inter-American Court will result in a resolution that ratifies these recommendations.

This undoubtedly provides an opportunity for the current administration, headed by Nayib Bukele, to address the historical debt of the Central American country with Salvadoran women, girls and adolescents, who today are victims of health problems and even death due to lack of access to safe abortion services.

From Ipas Central America and Mexico we call to generate the necessary political and legislative conditions to place on the public agenda the need to act so that cases as painful as Beatriz's are not repeated.

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