El Salvador woman freed after 15 a long time in jail for abortion

Maira Figueroa is embraced by a relative, shortly after being released from the Women's Rehabilitation centre in Ilopango, El Salvador on March 13, 2018Picture copyright

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Maira Figueroa is embraced by he mom as she regains her independence

A 34-12 months-previous girl in El Salvador has been freed right after spending 15 several years in jail for possessing an abortion.

Maira Verónica Figueroa Marroquín was introduced right after her 30-yr sentence for aggravated murder was lowered.

Abortion is banned in El Salvador, a predominantly Roman Catholic country, in any conditions.

Ms Figueroa constantly preserved her innocence. She explained she suffered a stillbirth in a home exactly where she was working as a maid in 2003.

She was taken to hospital, arrested and ultimately sentenced for inducing an abortion.

Her mother and father, as nicely as journalists and activists, ended up exterior the prison in Ilopango, near the money San Salvador, to welcome her.

&#8220I am content to be with my household,&#8221 she said.

&#8220I want to research legislation to recognize what occurred to me and aid other girls,&#8221 she extra.

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Ms Figueroa has put in nearly fifty percent of her daily life at the Ilopango Women&#8217s Rehabilitation Centre

&#8220I&#8217m going to begin again and make up for lost time.&#8221

Ms Figueroa is the next woman this 12 months to have her sentence for abortion lowered by the Supreme Court docket.

Teodora Vásquez, 35, experienced her sentenced commuted a month ago.

She spent ten years in jail right after her child was identified useless and she was sentenced for murder.

Total ban on abortions

El Salvador is one particular of a handful of nations in the globe the place abortions are totally banned and carry large sentences.

The punishment is up to eight many years in jail but in many cases in which the foetus or newborn has died, the demand is modified to one particular of aggravated homicide, which carries a least sentence of thirty a long time.

While El Salvador is not by yourself in Latin America in possessing a total ban on abortions, the region is particularly rigid in the way it enforces it.

Physicians have to notify the authorities if they think a girl has tried to stop her being pregnant. If they fall short to report these kinds of cases, they way too could encounter prolonged sentences in jail.

Human legal rights teams say this final results in a criminalisation of miscarriages and health care emergencies, with far more than 100 convicted of abortion-associated crimes in El Salvador since 2000.