Activists Exploit Sick Woman’s Plight to Legalize Abortion in El Salvador

International   |   Adam Cassandra   |   May 10, 2013   |   2:47PM   |   San Salvador, El Salvador

It is almost depressing to think about, but there are people around the world hailed as champions of human rights who have made a career advocating for the death of their fellow humans, while those seeking the protection of all human life are labeled “cruel” and “inhuman.”

This is where pro-life advocates and the Catholic Church in El Salvador find themselves as once again the international media and NGOs are engaged in a campaign meant to break down all barriers to abortion in a pro-life country.

“This case exemplifies the urgent need to launch a national dialogue on abortion legislation, in order to consider the introduction of exceptions to its general prohibition, especially in cases of therapeutic abortion and pregnancy resulting from rape or incest,” wrote a group of “human rights experts” from the United Nations about the case of Beatriz.

A 22-year-old Salvadoran woman, known only as Beatriz to protect her real identity, is currently awaiting a ruling by the Supreme Court of El Salvador to decide whether her unborn child can be killed in the womb. It is illegal to obtain an abortion under any circumstances in El Salvador, though it is not illegal to save the life of the mother.

Her situation has nothing to do with rape or incest, and the latest report by medical experts insists her pregnancy is not endangering the young woman’s life, yet the UN’s “experts” insist there is an “urgent need” to launch a national dialogue on legalizing abortion in these situations.

Beatriz suffers from lupus and kidney problems, and some doctors have opined that an abortion is necessary to save her life. Moreover, Beatriz’s unborn child is anencephalic (missing part of the brain and skull), and is not given a high probably of survival once born. Many of those pushing to have Beatriz’s child aborted seem to consider babies with anencephaly “lives unworthy of life” that will just die within minutes anyway. The fact that the unborn child has a disability is a greater incentive to abort in their eyes.

“The fetus she’s carrying isn’t capable of life, but Beatriz could still survive,” a petition to abort the child by the radical RH Reality Check website states. Amnesty International also has a petition campaign pushing for the child’s abortion which says, “Almost all babies with anencephaly die before birth or within a few hours or days after birth.” Both of these organizations ignore that some anencephalic babies can live for weeks, and even years. And we have no idea what impact these babies’ lives can have on their families, communities or the world in those precious moments they are with us.

According to a report published this week by El Salvador’s Institute of Legal Medicine (ILM) and submitted to the Supreme Court, “At this time, [Beatriz] is clinically stable, which means that right now there is no imminent risk of danger of death.”

The ILM, which falls under the judicial branch of the government, recommends that Beatriz’s doctors “maintain the conservative medical treatment, that is, to continue with the pregnancy.” And contrary to statements by El Salvador’s Ministry of Health and the National Bioethics Commission that Beatriz’s life is in imminent danger from renal failure, necessitating an abortion, the ILM report states “there is no clinical evidence of a renal insufficiency” putting the life of the patient in danger.

The pro-life organization Yes to Life Foundation in El Salvador (an affiliate of Human Life International), has questioned the accuracy of information about Beatriz’s health reported in the media, and also the pro-abortion bias of the National Bioethics Commission.

Yes to Life and the Catholic Church in El Salvador are concerned that Beatriz is being used to expand abortion legalization for any reason – a concern that seems credible given the UN’s statement.

“It is necessary that people understand the absurd folly of pro-choice, anti-life feminists, which have now been joined by the Bioethics Committee and governmental statements … which are clearly aimed at changing legislation in our nation that favors the lives of ALL people, including the unborn,” said Yes to Life President Julia de Cardenal. “This would allow the future legal murder of millions of innocent babies in the womb, as has happened in several other countries.”

The Archbishop of San Salvador, Monsignor José Luis Escobar Alas, told local media he believes there is a “movement and agenda” to fully legalize abortion in his country.

“I see the knife killing children tomorrow because the door is opened,” he said.

Virtually every English-language article published by the media about Beatriz highlights El Salvador’s complete ban on abortion, and how terrible and “draconian” it is to have such a ban.

This latest episode of coordinated international pressure to crackdown on a pro-life country comes right on the heels of the well-coordinated international campaign against the Irish people and their “Catholic ethos” over the death of Savita Halappanavar.

Immediately after Savita’s tragic death, the pro-abortion lobby used unsubstantiated statements made by her husband that she was denied a “life-saving abortion” because she was in a Catholic country to condemn Ireland for still having laws that protect unborn life, and to push a massive media campaign to legalize abortion.

After a lengthy inquest, it was determined a misdiagnosed case of severe sepsis, not lack of an abortion, was the cause of death. And while questions about the case remain unanswered, Ireland’s government is currently considering a bill to legalize abortion.



What gets lost in the media spin about these rare cases is the actual pro-life message: that the best medical care possible should be afforded to both mother and child. The child is a human being who is every bit as deserving of dignified treatment as the mother, but so-called human rights activists and abortion proponents deny this, actively support intentionally killing the child and focus on demonizing pro-lifers for having compassion for both mother and child.

These legal debates aren’t about health, rights or dealing with the complexities of specific situations. They are about expanding abortion as much as possible, in any way possible, with no regard for women, children or the future of society. Note:  Reprinted with permission from Human Life International’s World Watch forum. Adam Cassandra is a Communications Specialist at Human Life International.