birth

This Is What Happens to Women When Abortion is Outlawed

A Jail Cell

Being a woman is dangerous in other countries with regressive laws about reproductive health. Take the infuriating, heartbreaking case of 19-year-old Evelyn Beatriz Hernandez Cruz, this is all too true.

Cruz, who lives in El Salvador (where abortion is illegal), was sentenced to 30 years in prison for failing to seek antenatal care. The teen said she was raped over a period of several months by a gang member. After she gave birth to a stillbirth in a toilet in 2016, she claims she didn’t realize she was pregnant.

However, the prosecution’s story alleges that Cruz knew she was pregnant and wanted to get rid of the baby, which the judge believed (because why believe something that doesn’t fit into your beliefs?). Regardless of whether or not Cruz knew she was pregnant (yes, it is entirely possible she didn’t), the fact that she is being sentenced to jail for 30 years is insane. For giving birth to a stillborn child.

As if that isn’t enough, her mom could be implicated too, since Cruz said she only knew she’d given birth after her mom took her to a hospital, where she was handcuffed to a bed while being treated.

This is what happens to women in other countries.

This means two things: We can’t take our own privileges for granted (and must fight to keep our rights while fighting for more)–and we can’t turn a blind eye to what’s happening in the rest of the world. When abortion is outlawed, women suffer terribly.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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