El Salvador’s Supreme Court rejects abortion case; points to personhood of child

San Salvador—The Salvadoran high court rejected the over-hyped claims of abortion advocates in favor of common-sense protections for mother and child on Wednesday. The ruling upholds El Salvador’s constitutional protection of the right to life beginning at fertilization.

Over the past few months, international abortion activists have exploited the case of a 22-year-old Salvadoran woman known as “Beatriz.” Intending to open the door for broad legalization of abortion, they allege that her life is in danger because she has lupus and kidney difficulties and that her child possesses no right to life because he suffers from a severe brain abnormality known as anencephaly.

Medical experts, however, testified that there is no serious threat to the woman’s life. El Salvador’s Institute of Legal Medicine advised against abortion and testified to the Supreme Court that “there is no medical reason to terminate the pregnancy.”

The 4-1 decision stated that “the rights of the mother are not privileged over those of the unborn child (who is to be born) and vice versa.” Furthermore, the Court determined “that there is an absolute bar” to authorize an abortion since this would violate “the constitutional protection afforded to the human person ‘from the moment of conception.’”

The judges concluded that there was no legal purpose for appealing to the court, since while abortion is prohibited, the laws in El Salvador already permit interventions which may risk the life of the baby to save the life of the mother. The court acknowledged that, although the Institute of Legal Medicine determined her current condition to be stable, her condition may change and that doctors may provide necessary treatment “that at any time [may] be appropriate for [her] medical condition.”

“The biased English-language news grossly mis-portrays this case denying life-saving abortion to a woman in need. That characterization is dishonest,” said Josh Craddock, United Nations liaison for Personhood Education. “Rather, this is a decision that recognizes the equal right to life of mother and baby, ensures that Beatriz will receive the best medical treatment for her condition, and rightly rejects killing a baby because he or she suffers from a disability.”

El Salvador’s Yes to Life Foundation called the decision “a triumph of life over death” because it sets “a precedent in our society that should favor the constitutional right to life that exists from the moment of conception.”

Abortion proponents intend to appeal the case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, but the Salvadoran supreme court’s decision will likely remain binding.


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