The Effects Of The Abortion Ban On Teenage Girls And Men In El Salvador
El Salvador hs banned abortion. Amnesty has distilled the effects of this horror into an animated video:
Any woman seeking an abortion is now a criminal.
Teresa is one of many women who arrived at a hospital seeking help when faced with an obstetric emergency. Instead, hospital staff turned her over to the police. We heard the sad story of a mother of a young woman who died rather than risk going to the hospital. “She was bleeding profusely but kept telling me not to take her to the hospital where she feared she would end up with charges of abortion.” Other women in similar situations choose to take their own lives feeling they have no other option. In El Salvador, an unwanted pregnancy is the first cause of suicide for young women between the ages of 10 and 19. Teresa didn’t decide to end her life but instead, she faces a disproportionate prison sentence.
Is it abortion that leads to suidice?
Under Salvadoran law, it is a crime to have sex with a child under the age of 15, but activists say the law is frequently flouted, citing official figures that show 1,540 girls under 15 became pregnant in El Salvador last year. The offense carries a prison sentence of between 14 and 20 years, but few perpetrators are sent to jail. [Mario] Soriano [of the country’s health ministry] said a 1998 total ban on abortion has led many pregnant girls to contemplate suicide or a backstreet termination rather than risk rejection from their families, friends and teachers. “A pregnant girl is often discriminated against. She can find herself kicked out of the house and dumped by her boyfriend, so family is not seen as a source of help. She’s also expelled from school because she’s seen as setting a bad example to other pupils,” Soriano said.
Jim Stanek takes a view:
What’s driving them to suicide is the culture that won’t allow them, as women, to stand against their rapists without fear of reprisal. It’s the culture that ostracizes pregnant teens instead of helping them. It’s the culture that treats rape victims as “bad examples” and second-class citizens. It’s the culture that calls a preborn child conceived in rape “the rapist’s baby” and “cursed” instead of viewing that baby as a person, wholly separate from his/her father and his crimes.
Assuming all underage girls have been raped is insane. And surely many fathers are often theselves underage.
Although, sex abuse it is rife:
In 2011 the ministry provided care to 26,662 children and adolescent girls who became pregnant after sexual abuse. The network’s partner in El Salvador, the Asociación Ciudadana (Group for the Decriminalization of Therapeutic Abortion), has launched the “We are all the 17” drive.
What is clear is that these young women and girls are suffering…