El Salvador upholds constitutional abortion ban


Abortion is never medically necessary.

Over the past few days, many news outlets have been reporting on the case of “Beatriz,” a 22-year-old in El Salvador who requested an abortion because she has lupus. Her baby was diagnosed with anencephaly, a life-threatening condition which likely would result in her death soon after birth. However, abortion is illegal in El Salvador, for any reason. Beatriz asked the Supreme Court for an abortion two months ago, but the Court upheld El Salvador’s abortion ban.

Many reports on the story, at least in mainstream media outlets, have regarded this case as a woman being denied a “life-saving” abortion. Media outlets such as The Christian Science Monitor; The New York Times, which also has published a letter to the editor from Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights; MSNBC; CBS News; and The Huffington Post have reported on the story with such a viewpoint. Only MSNBC mentions in its piece’s title that Beatriz was allowed an emergency C-section.

It is certainly not that pro-lifers wanted Beatriz to die, but as Live Action has reported a few times, abortion is never medically necessary to save a woman. If a pregnant woman’s life is in danger, doctors can provide life-saving treatment which may endanger or even end the life of the baby, though that is not intended. Efforts are still made to save both the mother and the child. That is, of course, not an abortion. An abortion is successful only if the baby is killed; a dead baby is always the intent of an abortion, whether people like to admit it or not. Calvin Freiburger also discussed this with his piece on the Beatriz case and international abortion from a couple of months ago.

And El Salvador didn’t just allow Beatriz to die either. Rather, they are upholding their country’s Constitution. And as the MSNBC article is careful enough to mention in its title, Beatriz was allowed an emergency C-section. The life-saving treatment mentioned above was played out, with no abortion necessary. So why do the media still report, for the most part, that Beatriz is being denied a “life-saving abortion”? If it is Beatriz they care about, then they should accept such a decision as a sort of compromise. But if they care more about abortion than about Beatriz, one can understand where their outrage stems from.

Pro-life news outlets see the case for what it really is: the exploitation of this young woman’s health in order to pressure pro-life countries to legalize abortion. Matthew Hoffman, the Latin America Correspondent for, reported on the story from such a perspective, and he further reported on the recent Supreme Court decision. Hoffman also reported in his piece from May 9 that:

According to gynecologist Carlos Mayora Escobar of the El Salvador Bioethics Association, “this patient is being very well attended in the Maternity Hospital. They are monitoring her carefully. They’re watching her vital signs,” reports the Spanish Catholic activist website HazteOir.

“The reality is that Beatriz will not die if she receives the proper medical attention, which includes observation and care within a medical center,” the association added in a press release.

One can of course express sympathy for Beatriz and her predicament without supporting her having an abortion. If we accept that abortion is never medically necessary, Beatriz shouldn’t need an abortion any more than any other pregnant woman. It is right that an emergency C-section was allowed, and her baby could die a natural death.

As we have also seen with Ireland, international pro-abortion groups have no problem targeting pro-life countries and exploiting sick or deceased women to do so. Let us pray that these countries do not give in to pressure and that they remember that abortion is never medically necessary.

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