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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 13 April 2021

Teenager pregnant from rape jailed for murder after stillbirth in El Salvador

Evelyn Beatriz Hernandez Cruz faces a 30-year sentence.

The woman was 18 years old when she became pregnant.
The woman was 18 years old when she became pregnant.
Image: Shutterstock/Africa Studio

A WOMAN IN El Salvador who became pregnant as a result of rape has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after the death of her stillborn child.

The Citizens’ Group for the Decriminalisation of Abortion says that the woman’s lawyers are to appeal the sentence and will argue that she was not given due process.

The group said that Evelyn Beatriz Hernandez Cruz became pregnant at the age of 18 but was not aware of it because ”she menstruated regularly.”

She had become pregnant after facing months of sexual violence. The Guardian reports that she had been raped by a gang member as part of a forced sexual relationship.

On 6 April 2016 the teenager felt a severe pain in her stomach and went to the bathroom where she fainted with the pain.

Unbeknownst to her she was in labour and had an out-of-hospital birth.

The baby she gave birth to was stillborn but prosecutors argued that it could not be proven the child didn’t die shortly after the birth.

The teenager was therefore convicted of the murder and she was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

El Salvador has one of the strictest abortion laws in the world, criminalising the procedure on all grounds.

Read: Woman jailed for miscarrying her baby is released >

Column: In El Salvador, a total ban on abortion has led to death and decades of imprisonment >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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