El Salvador: Imelda Cortez, 20 a raped victim faces 20 year sentence for trying to abort therapist’ baby.
Abortion is illegal under all circumstances in El Salvador. Imelda Cortez is facing 20 years of imprisonment for attempted murder, after she gave birth in a latrine in El Salvador.
Country’s law against abortion are very rigid. Imelda was in custody since April 2017.
She hails from underprivileged rural family in San Miguel. She had been victimized by her abusive 70 year old step farther.
She was rushed to hospital by her mother who found her in severe pain and bleeding heavily. The doctors at emergency suspected an attempted abortion and called the police. However, the baby was found alive and healthy.
Imelda Cortez has been abused since she was 12 years old by her 70 years old step farther.
After spending a week inn hospital she was sent to jail and denied bail. Cortez said she had no idea she was pregnant, the baby survived and still she was charged with attempted murder.
Cortez step father visited her in the hospital to threaten her, he said he will kill her, her siblings and her mother if she reported against him. A patient who overheard called the police.
Police suspected Cortez was inventing the abuse but the DNA test has confirmed the baby’s paternity.
Step father is still to be charged.
Bertha María Deleón, one of Cortez’s defense lawyers said
“This is the most extreme, scandalous injustice against a woman I’ve ever seen,” “The state has repeatedly violated Imelda’s rights as a victim; she’s deeply affected but denied psychological attention.”
Abortion being illegal under all circumstances in El Salvador has led to aggressive persecution of women. Most of the victims are poor, single rural-dwellers. These women are convicted even after having gynecological complications such as stillbirth or miscarriage.
The criminal trial against Cortez opens today, with a ruling by the three judges expected within a week.