50 Years Prison Sentence Over Miscarriage: El Salvador Woman Jailed After Suffering a Miscarriage in Her Home During Fifth Month of Her Pregnancy

A woman in El Salvador has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for miscarriage. The court announced the decision on June 29 after she was found guilty of aggravated homicide.

The Citizen's Collective for the Decriminalization of Abortion, the organization that defended her at the trial, revealed that Lesly, 21, was sentenced for "aggravated homicide" after being the victim of an obstetric emergency.

Lesly Ramírez
Lesly Ramírez Twitter

Previously in Salvador, multiple women had been sentenced to prison after they suffered a miscarriage. But, it's the first time that a woman has been sentenced to 50 years in prison over a miscarriage.

Lesly, a poor woman from a rural village in the east of El Salvador, has no access to clean water or electricity and did not go beyond elementary school.

Lesly Didn't Even Know She Was Pregnant

Abigail Cortez, a lawyer for the Citizen's Collective, told Le Monde, that she didn't even know she was pregnant, it was her first pregnancy, and she was actually going into labor. "I felt that something was coming out," explained the young woman, who was 19 years old at the time.

Her family didn't take her to the hospital rather they called the police who took Lesly to the hospital. Later she was sent to prison and was charged with aggravated homicide.

Lesly Tried to Cut The Umbilical Cord Herself

Head of the NGO Morena Herrera told Reuters that Ramírez had tried to cut the umbilical cord herself after the miscarriage, but it was dark and her home had no electricity.

Lesly Killed Her Baby

While prosecutor's office argued that the young woman hid her pregnancy from her family and killed the baby – born almost full term – with a knife before "abandoning it in the yard of the house", according to Le Monde.

In Latin America, apart from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic are the only countries that outlaw abortion without any exceptions.

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