Beatriz Has Received Permission To Terminate Her Pregnancy By C-Section – But I’m Not Celebrating Yet

By  | 

Beatriz El Salvador C SectionBeatriz, the 22 year old woman who was risking not only her life, but the life of her deformed fetus, is being prepared to receive an emergency C-section after El Salvador’s Health Minister approved the operation yesterday. Ultrasound images have shown that her fetus is developing with only a brain stem and has no chance of survival. This is amazing news, and I know that so many of you were also concerned about this situation after I wrote about it yesterday, and that you expressed so in the comments. When awful things in the world happens it really does help when readers take the time to discuss it, and I’m always considering points you all have made and things you have said. From

“She is in the hands of top-notch doctors,” Health Minister Maria Isabel Rodriguez said Thursday. “The medical team at the Maternity Hospital is ready to act immediately at the slightest sign of danger.”

“For me what matters is to protect Beatriz’s life,” she added.

Because the pregnancy is 26 weeks along, abortion laws are no longer at play, according to women’s groups who have supported her petition. Rather, the health ministry can determine what’s most medically sound for the mother versus the unborn baby.

I’ll keep following this story and hoping that Beatriz is okay, but the fact that there are many, many women just like Beatriz in Latin America makes me realize that even though her life may be saved, hundreds like her will die every year from either complications due to giving birth when pregnancy is found to be dangerous for them, and thousands will die from illegal abortions.  Three countries criminalize abortion in all circumstances, even when the pregnant woman’s life can only be saved through terminating her pregnancy: El Salvador, Chile and Nicaragua. Statistics show that where countries have such strict abortion laws, abortion is not only about as prevalent as places where it is legal, but it is much more likely to be unsafe. The New York Times says:

Up to 5,000 women die each year from abortions in Latin America, and hundreds of thousands more are hospitalized.

This entire pregnancy would have resulted in the death of Beatriz and her fetus and she would have left her one year old baby without a mother. I’m sure there are risks involved with the c-section because of Beatriz’s health, but I’m hoping the operation will save her life and allow her to return to her husband and baby. I just hope this case results in Latin America re-thinking some of its dangerous and horribly restrictive abortion laws.

(Photo:Paulo Afonso/Shutterstock)