El Salvador woman freed in harsh case of birth 'criminalization'

January 18, 2024

"The satisfaction is very great because despite going through a very long process, my innocence could be proved," the 28-year-old told AFP. In 2015, Lilian gave birth in a public hospital in western El Salvador, but her baby girl suffered complications, was placed inside an incubator and died 72 hours later, her lawyer Abigail Cortez told AFP. She was prosecuted for "aggravated homicide" after being accused of "abandonment and neglect," arguing she had failed to sufficiently take care of the fetus while pregnant. However, prosecutors and judges often classify cases of abortion or even miscarriages as "aggravated homicide," a crime punishable by 30 to 50 years in prison. Beatriz died in a traffic accident in 2017, but the court is being asked to rule on whether El Salvador violated her rights to life, health, and protection from inhumane treatment.