Law News
Teenage rape victim bags 30-year jail term

19-year-old lady who was 18 years old at the time of her rape has been jailed for 30 years.

The teenager was jailed because she was suspected to have technically committed infanticide by not seeking prenatal care when she became pregnant from the rape.

Former high school student, Evelyn Beatriz Hernandez Cruz, reportedly gave birth in a bathroom in April after a bout of acute pain in her stomach and back.

She hadn’t realised that she was in the third trimester of a pregnancy, the Amnesty International reports.

A judge in El Salvador — where abortion is illegal in all circumstances — has sent the 19-year-old rape survivor to 30 years in jail because her baby was stillborn.

Her conviction was premised on the grounds that her failure to get prenatal care amounted to homicide.

Evelyn had reportedly been raped repeatedly for months prior in a forced sexual relationship.

She didn’t report the rapes out of fear, but the hospital that received her had reported the stillbirth to authorities, Amnesty International says.

Medical experts could not determine if the foetal death happened before or after delivery, according to the human rights body.

The judge hearing the case reportedly accepted prosecutors’ theory that Evelyn didn’t seek prenatal care because she didn’t want the baby, and further suggested her mother might also be criminally responsible.

“El Salvador’s anti-abortion law is causing nothing but pain and suffering to countless women and girls and their families,” Amnesty’s Americas director, Erika Guevara-Rosas, said in a statement.

The Central American nation has imposed a blanket ban on abortion since 1998. According to Amnesty, women who experience complications during their pregnancies — including miscarriages — have been convicted on charges of aggravated murder, and imprisoned for up to 40 years.

“The total ban on abortion in El Salvador violates women’s rights to life, health, privacy, due process and freedom from discrimination, violence and torture and other ill-treatment,” Guevara-Rosas said, calling for the law to be repealed.

Source: The Punch

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