- Women protesting the plight of Beatriz, San Salvador
- Agrupación Ciudadana por la Despenalización del Aborto Terapéutico
All most of us know is that a woman named Beatriz, a 22-year old mother of one, is critically ill in a San Salvador hospital with kidney failure, an auto-immune disorder and at the center of a growing controversy.
Beatriz is also five months pregnant with an anencephalic fetus, a fatal malformation where the brain and skull of the fetus are largely missing.
Doctors say the baby will almost certainly be born dead and with all of these factors Beatriz must abort the fetus to save her life. But Beatriz’ chance for survival is illegal in this tiny and very Catholic country.
“We hope that the Supreme Court treats this case with the urgency it merits, given that Beatriz’s life and health are at risk,” said Esther Major, Amnesty International’s expert on Central America. “She is suffering cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in being denied the medical intervention she so urgently needs.
To be a poor woman with an unwanted pregnancy in El Salvador is to be at the convergence of misfortune. Abortion has been entirely illegal in El Salvador, without exception, since 1998. Such bans do not result in fewer abortions, of course, just more clandestine and unsafe procedures. Continue reading
The online international news organization GlobalPost has been taking an in-depth look at the Obama Administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI) as part of its new endeavor, Global Pulse.
Managed and sometimes written by John Donnelly, one of the best global health journalists out there, I dare say the Global Pulse series is probably the most comprehensive, on-the-ground look at what the Administration is doing to fight disease in the developing world.
Here’s one of the their latest posts, by Hanna Ingber Win entitled GHI’s Missing Piece in Nepal, about the problems caused by the ongoing prohibition of U.S. foreign aid funding of abortion services.
Hanna Ingber Win, Global Post
Win opens her post:
LAMAHI, Nepal – United States President Barack Obama set up the Global Health Initiative to take a more comprehensive approach to improving health care in developing nations. In particular, his administration has given great weight to saving the lives of women and to supporting countries’ priorities in health care.
But there’s one exception: abortion.
In Nepal, that exclusion is in plain view, and many say the lack of support disregards evidence that safe abortions can save women’s lives. Nearly all experts here — with the notable exception of those employed by the U.S. government — publicly state that the best way to improve maternal health is by offering a wide range of services that includes more awareness about and access to safe abortion.