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UN Committee Calls on El Salvador to Decriminalize Abortion
Jointly with partners, La Agrupación Ciudadana por la Despenalización del Aborto Terapeutico, Ético y Eugenésico, the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) submitted a report before the ESCR Committee denouncing El Salvador’s total abortion ban and its consequences as human rights violations before the 52nd Session of Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ESCR Committee). Resulting from this advocacy, we are pleased to share with you the Concluding Observations that have just been issued:
The Committee reiterates its concern about the persistence of the total ban on abortion, which particularly affects poor women with a lower level of education, without any consideration given to exceptional situations, which has caused serious cases of suffering and injustice. The Committee is particularly concerned with the cases of women who have sought care before the health system in a situation of great risk for their health and have been denounced for suspicion of abortion. In certain cases they have been imposed with disparate criminal sanctions without respect for due process. Likewise, its concerned with the high number of illegal abortions, which has severe health consequences and continues to be one of the main causes of maternal mortality.
The Committee urges the State party to review its legislation with regard to the total prohibition of abortion to make it compatible with other fundamental rights such as health and life of the woman, as well as with their dignity. The Committee urges the State to provide quality care for the treatment of complications from unsafe abortions in conditions of risk rather than prioritizing his criminal prosecution.
These concluding observations are clear in determining the total abortion ban as a human rights violation and we will keep working tirelessly with our partners so that these recommendations are given visibility and the State works to implement them.
For more information on the grave impact of the abortion ban on women in El Salvador, please watch a video created by CRR here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97cNNEs3veo&feature=youtu.be.