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El Salvador Mothers Imprisoned for Miscarriages and Abortion-Related “Crimes”

GUEST: Paki Wieland, a long-time peace and justice activist and a member of Grandmothers for Peace.

More than a hundred women in El Salvador have been imprisoned over the past 10 years for abortion-related “crimes.” In 17 of those cases, women who have miscarried, have also been arrested, convicted, and sentenced to lengthy terms. The law has been widely condemned internationally. Even the president of El Salvador’s own legislative assembly, Sigfrido Reyes, has called it “medieval.”

In 1998, an incoming conservative government changed El Salvador’s abortion law so that exceptions for rape and medical risk were eliminated. Now, abortion is completely illegal. And, apparently so is miscarriage. To many, that sounds ludicrous, given that miscarriage is as out of one’s control as cancer is.

There is now a global movement to free the women. Last week, a number of activists in the United States participated in a sit-in at the Salvadoran embassy in Washington DC in solidarity with the 17 imprisoned Salvadoran women. Four of the activists were arrested, among them guest, Paki Wieland.

For more information, visit soawatch.org.