Oppressive Anti-Abortion Laws

REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

CFJ is working to end discriminatory and punitive laws and practices that criminalize women for medical procedures and prevent them from accessing reproductive health rights.

Recently, CFJ intervened in a landmark case before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights after monitoring trials involving women who suffered obstetric emergencies and were prosecuted under El Salvador’s harsh anti-abortion laws.

The case was brought on behalf of Manuela, a woman who was sentenced to 30 years in prison on such charges, and ultimately died in custody. In late 2021, the Inter-American Court issued a judgment in line with CFJ’s submissions, finding that the criminal process had been infected by the “use of gender stereotypes and preconceptions.” The landmark ruling ordered $200,000 compensation for the victims, legal reforms on women’s healthcare in El Salvador, increased privacy protections for women seeking healthcare, and training for people working in the justice sector to prevent such abuses in the future.