El Salvador: Court Protects Life of Beatriz and Her Child
Friday, May 31, 2013

Pro-abortion activists are attempting to use the case of a 22 year-old pregnant El Salvadoran woman in her 26th week of pregnancy to challenge the country's ban on abortion. The woman, given the pseudo name Beatriz, is afflicted with lupus and her unborn child was diagnosed with anencephaly. Pro-abortion lawyers working on the case claim that her life is in danger and that she needs an abortion. They appealed to the country's Supreme Court.

The Court in turn handed the pro-abortion activists a defeat by determining that the woman's life was not endangered by the pregnancy and that the constitution provides equal protection for both mother and child. Proceedings of the Court revealed that neither Beatriz nor the medical doctors who evaluated her case requested that the Court grant her an abortion. Rather lawyers representing Beatriz to the Court demanded "an interruption of pregnancy" claiming her health was in danger. 

Global headlines falsely charged "El Salvador denies woman a life-saving abortion", ignoring the fact that Beatriz is receiving the medical care that she needs and her life is not in danger.  Some activists went so far as to create a petition to Pope Francis-- Pope Francis: Save Beatriz-- seeking his support for the abortion of Beatriz's child.

Upon issuing the 4 to 1 decison the judges said: "This court determines that the rights of the mother cannot take precedence over those of the unborn child or vice versa, and that there is an absolute bar to authorising an abortion as contrary to the constitutional protection accorded to human persons 'from the moment of conception'."

 The judges said that Beatriz's health was "stable" and Judge Rodolfo Gonzalez who ruled against allowing an abortion said the constitutional court could not be turned into a "tribunal to allow the interruption of pregnancies". Judge Gonzalez said he was not convinced Beatriz was at risk of dying if the pregnancy was allowed to continue.

The Inter American Court of Human Rights issued an orderto the Salvadoran government  on the case at the request of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights  (which is increasingly being used as  pro-abortion tool) that it protect Beatriz's life, health and well-being.  Pro-abortion activists claim that this order includes allowing the abortion.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is part of the rights framework for the 35 members of the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS). El Salvador is among the countries that have signed the American Convention on Human Rights which states in Article 4, Right to Life: "Every person has the right to have his life respected. This right shall be protected by law and, in general, from the moment of conception. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life."

When ratifying the convention, the Government of El Salvador recognized the competence of the Court but only "insofar as this recognition is compatible with the provisions in the constitution of the Republic of El Salvador". Even if the current Supreme Court decision defers from the OAS Court's order, the reservation issued by El Salvador protects its sovereignty on the case.

Julia Regina de Cardenal of the El Salvadoran pro-life group "Si a la Vida" (Yes to Life), rejoiced after the finding by the Supreme Court stating that "the right to life and the truth won" in the case. "For us it is an immense joy to give, again, an example to the whole world of the defense of the right to life of every human being, including the littlest ones, the poorest, most vulnerable and defenseless." 

"Those who have cruelly and inhumanely manipulated this poor girl to achieve the legalization of the abortion industry in El Salvador invented a series of lies that have been exposed and that have gravely compromised even public functionaries," she said.>

Cardenal added, "Beatriz never needed an abortion. Beatriz has now gone through 26 weeks of gestation and the doctors who are attending her are clear that the law doesn't impede them from intervening if she has some complication, just as they did in her previous pregnancy, when they did a Cesarean at 32 weeks."

Those familiar with the 1973 Supreme Court rulings in the USA on abortion will recall that neither of the plaintiffs in the two cases-Norma McCorvey or Sandra Cano-were seeking abortions. Rather they and their cases were used and manipulated to overturn laws protecting women and their unborn children from the violence of abortion resulting in abortion on demand by judicial decree. May the Supreme Court and the government in El Salvador remain strong and continue to protect the lives of both mothers and children.