A woman who was sentenced to prison for giving birth to a stillborn baby was acquitted on Monday by an El Salvador appeals court.
Evelyn Hernández Cruz was raped by a gang member and did not know that she became pregnant. After giving birth to a stillborn baby, she was found guilty of aggravated homicide and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
El Salvador has strict laws against abortion (see Book 2 Title 1 Chapter 2 of the Penal Code of El Salvador) and women who experience complications during pregnancy are often accused of malicious actions.
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, welcomed the acquittal:
This is a resounding victory for the rights of women in El Salvador. It reaffirms that no woman should be wrongly accused of homicide for the simple fact of suffering an obstetric emergency. Now that Evelyn has been acquitted, Amnesty International calls on El Salvador to end the shameful and discriminatory practice of criminalizing women once and for all by immediately revoking the nation’s draconian anti-abortion laws.”