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Women march to protest at abortion rights on International Women's Day in Mexico City.
Women march to protest at abortion rights on International Women's Day in Mexico City.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

Mexican woman who was jailed for 16 years after suffering miscarriage has conviction overturned

The case highlighted the criminalisation of women who suffer miscarriages in parts of Mexico.
Jan 25th 2019, 5:54 PM 27,448 13

A MEXICAN WOMAN who was given a 16-year jail sentence after she suffered a miscarriage has had her conviction overturned.

The Guardian reports that Dafne McPherson, who was convicted of murdering her newborn child after suffering a miscarriage in the bathroom of the department store where she worked, walked free yesterday after serving three years in prison.

Her conviction was overturned after an appeal court judge in the state of Querétaro ruled that the scientific evidence that had been used to jail her was insufficient.

The case highlighted the criminalisation of women who suffer miscarriages in parts of Mexico, where abortion is also decriminalised but remains illegal in most of the country.

McPherson has maintained that she did not know she was pregnant at the time she suffered her miscarriage.

Security at the store refused to allow a Red Cross ambulance into the parking lot after the incident, and called a private ambulance instead.

Paramedics eventually discovered McPherson unconscious in the bathroom and found that she had lost large amounts of blood.

However, prosecutors in the case against her accused her of inducing the delivery of her baby in the toilet and of suffocating it afterwards.

McPherson’s story subsequently gained national attention after she was accused of indifference towards her newborn child, and her actions were described as something that “not even a dog would do”.

Upon her release, McPherson said she was “very happy”, but hit out at prosecutors for how the case against her was undertaken.

“They didn’t investigate –they didn’t do a thing,” she is reported to have said. “That’s why there are people inside who shouldn’t be in prison.”

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Stephen McDermott

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