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There is some very good news in the world today, especially for a young pregnant woman in El Salvador who has been granted a life-saving medical procedure. El Salvador's Health Minister approved a C-Section for the 22-year old mother known as 'Beatriz,' one day after the El Salvador Supreme Court voted down the medical abortion, 4-1.

What changed?

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights in San Jose, Costa Rica, the highest human rights court in the Americas, handed down Thursday a decision ordering the government of El Salvador to provide Beatriz with life-saving care. It ordered the state to provide the measures necessary to protect her life, health, and well-being, as well as refrain from interfering with the actions the doctors consider appropriate.

And: Because the pregnancy is 26 weeks along, abortion laws are no longer at play. Rather, the health ministry can determine what's most medically sound for the mother. The Health Minister, Maria Isabel Rodriquez spoke about Beatriz, Thursday, and said:

"She is in the hands of top-notch doctors. The medical team at the Maternity Hospital is ready to act immediately at the slightest sign of danger. For me what matters is to protect Beatriz's life," she added.
The story of Beatriz has received international attention. Her case is a very good example of why a woman must retain reproductive rights to choose what happens to her body - and why the  government must to stay out of that choice. A petition began circulating throughout social media Wednesday addressed to Pope Francis. The petition pleaded for 'His Holiness' to help save the life of Beatriz. She is called, 'Beatriz' for anonymity purposes, and she is pregnant with a fetus that, her doctors say, will not develop a brain. If she were to carry the pregnancy to term, Beatriz would most likely die, due to her medical conditions which include lupus and kidney disease.

El Salvador, is a predominantly Catholic country, with very strict laws against abortion - even when the mother's life is at risk. The Supreme Court in El Salvador rejected Beatriz's appeal on Wednesday for the medical care that she needed. Some saw their decision as a death sentence for the married women and mother of a one year-old son.

"The refusal of the Salvadoran Supreme Court to allow Beatriz to obtain a medical procedure that could save her life is an appalling and disgraceful violation of her fundamental human rights," Lilian Sepúlveda, director of the global legal program at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement. “El Salvador’s ban has not only resulted in the denial of medically-necessary abortions for women like Beatriz who desperately need them, but also in the imprisonment of far too many women who have suffered miscarriages or obstetric complications."
Ilyse Hogue, The president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, and her husband, political strategist John Neffinger, started a petition on Wednesday night asking Pope Francis to speak to the El Salvadorian government. RH Reality Check, a progressive reproductive health blog, launched a fundraising page with Women's Link Worldwide to raise money for Beatriz's cause.
“Salvadoran women have been paying an unacceptably high price for El Salvador’s abortion ban," Sepúlveda said on Thursday. "Women should never lose their fundamental rights, or be subject to such cruel and inhuman treatment, simply because they have become pregnant.”
Thankfully Thursday brought in much better news and there is room for celebration, yet concern for the young woman. The Health Department hasn't given a day, or time, for when Beatriz will deliver the baby by Cesarean section, said Morena Herrera, a member of the Feminist Collective for Local Development, an organization that has been supporting Beatriz.
"She is going through all the medical exams to be ready for surgery," Herrera said.
Many women's rights organizations as well as human rights organizations, like Amnesty International, have rallied for Beatriz and the rights of all women in similar plights.

Here is a video about a similar case in Ireland:

Perhaps this turn of events in El Salvador will help set a precedence for other countries whose antiquated religious laws leave women in the dark ages. Was it the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that made the tables turn? Or the Health Minister's push? Maybe the women/human rights organizations got through to the courts... Or just maybe the petition, or word of, reached the Pope who then took action. We may never know. Either way, this is good news, as we march on.

Here Are Four American Women’s Rights Organizations That Work Hard To Protect and Maintain The Reproductive Rights Of Women:

Planned Parenthood    

Source: Huffington Post,  Source: RH Reality Check,  Source:

Diary Cross-Posted

Originally posted to Leslie Salzillo on Fri May 31, 2013 at 12:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by More and Better Democracies, Abortion, and Pro Choice.

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