SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — An El Salvador court has sentenced a woman who experienced an obstetric emergency that ended her pregnancy to 30 years in prison for violent manslaughter, according to a non-governmental organization assisting its defense.
The Citizen Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion said in a statement Tuesday that a woman they identified only as “Esme” was sentenced Monday. The woman had been in custody for two years after her arrest as she sought medical help at a public hospital.
“The judge acted biased and gave more weight to the version offered by the attorney general, which was riddled with stigmas and gender stereotypes,” the group said. They said they would appeal.
The verdict could not be confirmed immediately because the courts were closed on Tuesday because of Mother’s Day.
El Salvador maintains a total ban on abortion and a number of women have been arrested and sentenced to prison after undergoing apparent miscarriages reported to authorities.
Nearly 180 women have been persecuted in the past twenty years. Since 2009, the government has released 64 of them. Only since December have eight women serving long prison sentences commuted those sentences.