Release Women Imprisoned for Having Abortions in El Salvador

Target: President Mauricio Funes

Goal: To release women imprisoned for receiving abortions.

Earlier this year, a woman identified as “Mery” by human rights organizations was arrested for seeking medical treatment after receiving a clandestine abortion. When Mery arrived at the hospital, the medical providers reported her to the police as is required by law. She was subsequently sentenced to two years in a prison system notorious for lawless violence. In September of this year, Mery attempted suicide. Instead of providing counseling, they handcuffed her to a bed and put her under armed guard. There is reason to fear for her safety, as she most likely needs psychological help following such a traumatic experience.

Unfortunately, Mery’s case is not uncommon in El Salvador. There have been multiple cases reported by human rights organizations that highlight the dreadful record of imprisoning women for getting an abortion. There have even been cases where a woman has been jailed for delivering a stillborn baby.

A recent study by the World Health Organization showed that anti-abortion laws do not bring lower rates of abortion. According to the study, the 2008 abortion rate in Latin America was 32 per 1,000 women of childbearing age, while in Western Europe, where abortion is generally permitted on broad grounds, the rate is just 12 per 1,000. This obviously shows that the laws should be reversed and those imprisoned should be given their freedom as well as any medical attention they may require. By providing adequate health care to the citizens of their country, the government of El Salvador will help guarantee the right to a healthy life to all of its citizens.

Sign this petition and tell the government of El Salvador to release prisoners convicted of crimes related to abortion or childbirth. It may not be too late to save women like Mery from the cruelty of Salvadorian prisons. Mery and her peers must be released immediately and unconditionally.



Dear President Funes,

Recently, the case of a Salvadorian woman named Mery came to my attention. She was sentenced to two years in prison for attempting to seek medical attention following a clandestine abortion. She has since attempted to commit suicide due to her mental state following such a traumatic ordeal. I ask that you immediately release her for something that should be a decision she makes about her life.

The record of imprisoning those who seek abortions in your country is shameful. There is also evidence to show that by enforcing such draconian abortion laws, the number of abortions in the country is actually higher than in countries with more relaxed abortion laws or countries with no laws banning abortion at all.

I ask that you immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners who have been jailed for receiving abortions. It is a human right to be in charge of your health and life decisions. Allow for these women to once again lead their own lives outside of Salvadorian jails.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Joshua via

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One Comment

  1. These women have committed no crime and must be free.

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  • Ana Maria Mainhardt Carpes
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