Monday, November 12, 2018

Raped woman faces 20 years in jail for trying to abort her attacker's baby

Zamira Rahim
The Independent
November 12, 2018

A young woman in El Salvador who fell pregnant after being repeatedly raped from the age of 11 by her stepfather could face up to two decades in jail for allegedly attempting to abort his child.

Imelda Cortez became pregnant at the age of 18 and denies trying to abort the baby, which is a crime under any circumstances in El Salvador.

She was taken to a hospital after giving birth and despite the child being born healthy, doctors claimed she had tried to intentionally induce an abortion.


She is one of around 25 women imprisoned in El Salvador who are accused of inducing abortions but say they actually suffered miscarriages, stillbirths or pregnancy complications, according to the Citizen Group for the Decriminalisation of Abortion (CDFA).

If convicted Ms Cortez could face up to 20 years in jail, her lawyer Alejandra Romero said.


"DNA tests prove her child is the daughter of her stepfather."

"Yet Imelda is being treated as a criminal, not a victim of sexual violence."

Ms Cortez's stepfather has since been jailed on charges of raping a minor.

CDFA lawyers say convictions for inducing abortions are often based on flimsy medical evidence, as it is difficult for doctors to prove if someone has tried to abort a baby.


An online petition calling on authorities to release Ms Cortez from prison has so far collected over 48,000 signatures.

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