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UNUSUAL: El Salvador Woman Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison For A Miscarriage

While she was in her last month, Teodora Vasquez suffered a miscarriage. The young woman bleeding and her baby is stillborn. She was therefore found guilty of homicide and sentenced to 30 years in prison by the El Salvador court.

In El Salvador, anti-abortion legislation is among the most stringent in the world. The Penal Code provides for two to eight years’ imprisonment for abortion cases. In some cases, this is considered an aggravated homicide, punishable by 30 to 50 years in prison.


In 2008, a first trial was held in which Teodora Vasquez received the same sentence. One of the judges who sat said ”  The court found that the first conviction should be confirmed  “. Prior to the verdict, defense lawyer Victor Hugo Mata had asked the court to correct his mistake by releasing it, arguing that his client did not commit any fault. The court had to either quash his conviction, order a new trial or confirm his sentence of thirty years’ imprisonment. The young woman explained Wednesday to the three judges what happened to her the day she lost her daughter.

Victim of bleeding

According to the prosecutor’s representative, the young lady would have hidden the pregnancy because she did not want a baby. Yet the young woman was nine months pregnant when she called the emergency room on July 14, 2007. She had no response from the emergency department, she was bleeding and her baby was stillborn. On discovering the corpse of the latter, an employee of the college had warned the police and the young woman, still unconscious, had been arrested.


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