Woman Freed a Decade After Being Jailed for Pregnancy Loss

She had been sentenced to 30 years under El Salvador's abortion ban
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2021 3:01 AM CDT
Woman Freed a Decade After Being Jailed for Pregnancy Loss
In this Dec. 13, 2017 file photo, women protest outside a courtroom, demanding that the government free women prisoners who are serving 30-year sentences for having an abortion, in San Salvador, El Salvador.   (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez, File)

One of the many, many women jailed under El Salvador's harsh abortion ban was released Monday after serving nearly a decade of a 30-year sentence. Sara Rogel went to a hospital in 2012 with bleeding injuries from a fall, and was arrested after it was determined she had lost her pregnancy as a result. She was ultimately convicted of killing her unborn daughter and sentenced to 30 years, the Guardian reports. Her sentence was commuted to 10 years in January, and she has been released on parole, the BBC reports.

"While in mourning for the heartbreaking loss of her pregnancy, Sara should have been with her family. Instead she was unjustly imprisoned for nine years," one activist says. El Salvador's abortion ban is one of the strictest in the world, offering no exceptions, and dozens of women have been jailed under it after suffering miscarriages or stillbirths. In recent years, some of those women are starting to be released early as the law faces scrutiny. Rogel, who was a student in her 20s at the time of her arrest, was eight months pregnant. (More El Salvador stories.)

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